Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Mannar, Vavuniya, Trincomalee and Batticaloa districts Situation Report # 148

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9-16 October 2008

IDP situation as reported this week by GAs

Displacement after April 2006

Location
Number of
Families
Number of
Individuals
Jaffna
6,024
20,249
Vadamarachci East
(now displaced to Mullaitivu)
1,957
7,687
Kilinochchi
37,281
148,255
Mullaitivu
39,248
155,887
Vavuniya
3,733
13,056
Mannar
2,793
8,702
Trincomalee
1,480
4,896
Batticaloa
2,975
11,463
Ampara
1,148
4,223

JAFFNA DISTRICT

Situation update

- The security situation in the Jaffna peninsula remained tense during the week, especially in areas around the FDL due to confrontations and artillery shelling. Roads continue to be regularly blocked in order to allow military convoy movements.

- Fuel shortages experienced by the Ceylon Transport Board continue to impact public transport services.

- Despite the Ceylon Electricity Board's indication of improved power supply, power cuts continue outside the city including some divisions in Valihamam, which are experiencing cuts of longer durations.

- The Government Agent reports sufficient quantities of cement in the district but cautioned the public to avoid over purchase.

- With the recently arrived monsoon rains, farmers have started paddy cultivation.

Displacement/Returns

- No reported displacement or returns took place this week.

KILINOCHCHI & MULLAITHIVU DISTRICTS

Situation update

- Reportedly, artillery shelling continues in areas close to Kilinochchi town and town residents have displaced towards the eastern part of the district along the A35 road.

- Seasonal rains have started in Vanni, particularly affecting IDPs in temporary arrangements. According to the District Secretariat of Kilinochchi, thousands of IDPs families are still in need of emergency shelter. With the assistance of local NGOs, 32 IDP families have been shifted to safer locations following the rains affecting the Neththaliyaru site, a lowland area of Tharmapuram village in Kandawalai division.

- 190,000 liters of kerosene from the September fuel allocation were delivered by MPCSs, representing less than half of the allocation. Similarly, from the October fuel allocation, 75,400 liters of kerosene was transported, which was substantially less than the earlier approved allocation. A liter of kerosene sells for 350 rupees, while MPCSs are distributing one liter of kerosene per family per month for 90 rupees.

- UN staff, which accompanied the UN Convoy on 17 October, identified the following key needs. In addition to the regular supply of food aid, there are urgent requirements in shelter and sanitation, particularly as the Monsoon rains intensify. Additional information is needed on the impact of abandoned agricultural lands on longer term food security. The education system is functioning but temporary learning spaces and associated water and sanitation facilities are required to accommodate the large additional caseload of displaced students. Peoples' coping mechanisms appear to remain in tact presently, and Government and community structures seem to be functioning well though with constraints in terms of capacity and material. However, people are increasingly vulnerable because of their reduced purchasing power and health risks associated with heavy rains, poor sanitation and decrease in the capacity of health services.

Sector Developments/Gaps

- Following urgent repairs on a culvert between Nadukeny and Oddusudan on the route used to bring supplies into the Vanni, a GA convoy of 28 lorries

carrying 271MT of flour, sugar, dhal, oil and kerosene was sent to the Vanni on 16 October 2008. From 02 October 2008 to date, the Government convoys to the Vanni have provided a total of 714MT of food including flour, dhal, sugar and oil with another 168,399 liters of kerosene.

- The WFP food convoy scheduled to enter the Vanni on 16 October turned back due to military activity close to the A9. The convoy proceeded the following day, with 50 trucks and 9 support vehicles carrying 736 MT of food. The assistance will cover basic food needs of approximately 217,000 people for seven days.

- On 22 October, RDHS of Kilinochchi reported 12 cases of malaria (9 from Kilinochchi district and 3 from Mullaitivu district). All patients are IDPs and have been displaced from Mannar and Aaliyavalai in Vadamarachchi East. RDHS offices have arranged awareness programmes at IDP sites including public service announcements.

- RDHS is waiting arrival of essential drug supplies for the fourth quarter of 2008.

- On 21 October, an assessment was conducted at the Ramanathapuram East Government School in the Vaddakkachchi area where the Madhu zone schools and 5 other schools have been functioning. The number of students attending classes has increased sharply from 700 to 2,500. Temporary learning spaces as well as sanitation facilities were identified as urgent priorities. GA Kilinochchi is preparing to provide 25 tarpaulins for temporary class rooms. Construction of temporary learning Spaces (TLS) has started in Oddusuddan, Katchilaimadhu, Muththayankattu and Karudamadhu in Mullaitivu district in order to address the increased numbers of displaced students in these areas.