Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: Jafna, Kilinochci, Vavuniya, Trincomalee, Batticaloa & Ampara districts Daily Situation Report #23

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Situation Report
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Posted
Originally published
JAFFNA DISTRICT
Situation update

As a result of advocacy efforts from the GA, ZDEs, the Bishop and UNICEF, the Security Forces Commander agreed for schools to open on 30th August in Jaffna town and Valikamam Zone. Curfew is lifted from 0700 - 1630hrs for Jaffna town and Valikamam Zone and classes are to be conducted from 0800hrs to 1400hrs. Classes are not resuming in Thenmaradchi area due to ongoing insecurity

IDPs temporarily in schools that are able to return to their original locations are moving back while those who are unable to return will remain in the churches or with relatives and friends. UN agencies in Jaffna are jointly monitoring the IDP movement/situation.

KILINOCHCHI DISTRICT

Situation update

Shelling continued during the nights of 28th and 29th August.

The convoy expected to cross the border from Kilinochchi to Vavuniya has not been able to cross on August 29, 2006. The convoy reported there was shelling starting at the FDL by the time they approached the FDL. All vehicles in the convoy were advised to return back to Kilinochchi immediately. The convoy included 25 people [UN and NGO staff members, agencies UNICEF, UNDP, UNHCR, UNOPS, WFP, CARE, DRC, NPA and FORUT). The same group of people at time of reporting on 30th August is still trying to cross the border.

Sector Response

Water and Sanitation

Shortage for fuel is still a major problem in watsan sector as there is not enough fuel for gully suckers that has been used to empty emergency toilets and for water bowsers used to supply water to hospitals and IDP camps.

Health

Drugs continue to be a challenge for medical institutions in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts. DPDHS has indicated today that the lack of drugs in hospitals and the shortage of diesel for generators and water pumps has become of concern for their operations to continue. Currently, the hospital has used up all its fuel and is operating from a limited amount of diesel obtained from the GA office. The GA has also reported that they do not have enough fuel to operate all the generators in hospitals and the water bowsers in Kilinochchi DS divisions

The Killinochchi hospital is currently supported by a German Red Cross medical team based in Mullaitivu

Food

The GA has reported that no Lorries have been allowed to cross the border on August 29, 2006. The GA has also indicated that there is a severe shortage of nutritional food including milk powder for children, pregnant and lactating mothers in the market.

32 Lorries with food items are waiting at the FDL to cross the line since yesterday august 29, 2006. The details are 4 Lorries loaded with WFP food items, 10 loaded with dry ration and 18 carrying different food items for MPCS.

Shelter:

The GA has indicated that settlement areas have been identified for the temporary shelters to be constructed for the IDPs in Kilinochchi district and the locations will be provided to aid agencies on the meeting expected to take place on Thursday September 1, 2006.

On August 29, 2006, Oxfam, ZoA, UNHCR, FORUT and Solidar had discussed the common temporary shelter design to be adopted by all agencies and had agreed to outline the details of the design and approve it in separate meetings to be held today August 30th, 2006. Once approved, this design will be used by all agencies for all IDP shelter construction in Vanni area

In Mullaitivu district the construction of tsunami houses is done with available materials by a few agencies such as CARE and FORUT. In Theerthakkarai north, 41 houses out of 111 houses committed, are nearing completion. In Vadamarachchi east tsunami construction is on hold.

Education:

Save the Children in Sri Lanka is erecting 'Child Friendly Spaces' in five welfare centres in Kilinochchi.

Co-ordination

The coordination meeting between aid agencies and the GA and the NGO consortium has been agreed by the participants to take place once a week instead of three times a week. This is due to the understanding that the NFRI distribution has been completed for most of the families living in communal areas and under trees.

VAVUNIYA DISTRICT

Situation update

A Convoy of 11 trucks with food items to the Vanni returned to Vavunia 30th August following a shelling incident at the lines.

TRINCOMALEE DISTRICT

Situation up-date

Fighting continues in Sampoor (Muttur division) at important scale. - Muttur and Seruvila division are not accessible to aid agencies. The LTTE have said that there are 2,200 people in LTTE controlled Muttur East inaccessible and in need of assistance.

In view of the up-surge of fighting in the last few days, there continues to be IDP new arrivals in Kantalai and Kinniya.

The Government Agent has requested NGOs to meet with him individually in order to endorse their work permit applications. Reports continue of NGOs being hampered in their work when passing check points.

Sector response

Camp management

The District authorities are finalizing the modalities of the compensation scheme for those affected by the recent conflict, including 25,000 Rs for those families with damaged houses.

The Resettlement and Development Cooperation ministers met with the authorities, camp managers and NGOs in Kantalai. A resettlement office - REPSA - has been opened in Muttur town.

NFRI

IDPs are requesting kerosene oil to assist in individual and communal cooking arrangements.

Health

There are now enough doctors working in rotation at the Kantalai field hospital.

Food

Two weeks food stocks are already in place in Seruvilla for the newly revised IDPs.

Watsan

339 cubic meters of water are now being supplied daily to IDP sites across the district.

The water quality in most camps is adequate, although dirty tanks in some sites are causing below standard water supply to some IDPs.

There is still no lead agency for Watsan activities in Seruvila and Muttur, which remain poorly assisted areas thus far. - OXFAM will provide a further gully sucker to be used by the Kinniya authorities.

Education

The District authorities have reported that 35 schools are affected by being occupied by IDPs and have not been able to open as planned this week.

UNICEF plan to provide temporary learning spaces in 24 sites, although the construction of these is being held up by contractors who are unable to do work because of insecurity.

BATTICALOA DISTRICT

Situation update

Shelling on daily basis within the District.

INGOs have been visited since last week regarding the MoD Registration issue, vehicles are stopped and regularly checked and aids workers are asked for proper documentation,. A meeting between the INGO Community and the authorities is taking place on 30th August to discuss this issue.

UNHCR supported government with provision of 10,000 family registration cards

Protection issues

A rapid Protection Assessment team (including staff members of UNHCR, UNICEF, government department and NGOs) with the mission to identify protection concerns among displaced population is planned to assess Manmunai North, and Vavunatheevu from 28th August to 3rd September, and will continue in different divisions. 3-5 teams (3 persons per team) depending on the site population will conduct the assessment. The team hopes that the assessment will be completed by 6th September provided that access is possible in selected locations.

A rapid assessment form has been finalized by the IDP Protection Group and teams have been prepared with assessors from different agencies who will undertake the rapid assessment.

Assistance Provided / Response

NFRI distribution was completed in Oddamavadi and Valaichchenai Central DS divisions (21st to 27th August), and continues in Manmunai North and Valachchenai DS divisions (28th to 3rd September). NFRIs distributions for other Divisions are also taking place in coordination with divisional secretaries, Area Focal Point Agencies, and other humanitarian actors.

UNICEF/UNHCR distributed NFRIs (UNHCR: 300 Kitchen sets, 300 Laundry soap, 600 Bed sheets, 200 Ropes UNICEF : 300 Jerry cans, 300 Lux soap, 600 Sleeping mats, 200 Tarpaulin sheet, 600 Towels) to IDPs staying at Vaharai School and its surrounding area on 25th August.

Identification of NFRI needs/gaps is difficult to assess in Vaharai, as the information regarding what and where NFRIs were distributed by site is not yet given by DS Vaharai.

Shelter

UNHCR supported repair of roof and provision of partitions at the 2nd IDPs site in St. Sebastian School, in Manmunai North (Batticaloa). The work was completed by RDF on 25 August. 53 families are currently staying at school.

IOM upon request of DS is putting up shelters for IDPs at Zahira College in Manmunai North.

An Emergency Shelter Coordination Meeting was held on 29th August. The Shelter coordination Committee was formed with UNHCR, ICRC, IOM, ZOA, and NRC.

The Humanitarian Organization are promoting the Host Family and Welfare Centre as host locations for IDPs, nonetheless with the magnitude of the ongoing displacement it would appear that these much preferred options are about to be exhausted. Therefore, the agencies were identified to explore host family options in Manmunai North and Valachchenai, where the number of IDPs is increasing. Identification of possible public buildings and land for IDP shelters is on-going by divisional secretary, Area Focal Point and NGOs engaged in shelter activities. Actions that were agreed upon were strengthening of support for more active recruitment of Host Families and shelter assistance for IDPs in Host Families.

Watsan

UNICEF WASH Batticaloa team traveled with UN convoy to Vaharai on 25th August. The team arranged and distributed 40 clean up kits (containing toilet and camp cleaning materials) to Pradesha Sabha as well as mosquito nets to Vaharai MV camp. In addition, the team did a quick watsan assessment of Vaharai MV camp in the short time available.

H2S kits with instructions for use were distributed to DPDHS for use by PHIs at IDP locations throughout the district. Demonstration was given to lead PHI so that training can be done.

Education

On 28th August, a meeting was held in UNICEF with ZDE Kalkudha, Divisional Director Vaharai, Project implementing officer in ZDE office and UNICEF to discuss matters related to the education emergency response for IDP school going children in Vaharai. Formats to collect more specific and disaggregated data were developed by UNICEF and shared with the education officers who attended the meeting.

UNICEF visited Vaharai on the 29th August with the Education Department and the divisional director to work out actual plans to assist restoring education and learning spaces.

AMPARA DISTRICT

Situation update

No major security incidents reported

As the 31st August deadline initially given by the GoSL for INGOs to submit applications for work permits/MoD registration approaches, anxiety is mounting with some organisations unofficially informing that they will be pulling out expatriate staff to Colombo for "consultations/meetings' until there is stabilisation/clarity on the mentioned issue. Police left letters at INGO offices stating that no expatriates will be allowed to carry on any operations past 31st August. Police further stated that anyone found working without 'required' documents will be detained, and then sent to Colombo for deportation. Whilst it was informed last week that the deadline has been extended for a week past 31st August, this information is not reaching ground security forces. In a meeting organised by OCHA with the GA and two INGO representatives on 28th August, GA phoned additional Secretary of Defence and confirmed that no MoD permit was needed, GA then phoned Commanding Officers in Ampara and was informed that Police were not aware of extension for permits' submission and that MoD registration is in fact required according to orders received from Colombo. This confusion was further compounded by the article in the Daily Mirror on 29th August

FAO has completed a survey of boat owners and fishing craft as there were duplications in selection of beneficiaries. This survey is useful in identifying actual fishermen and to further avoid duplication in dealing with beneficiaries for various projects.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) signed a US$ 10.6 million contract on 25 August for the construction of a new Arugam Bay bridge, which will replace the one severely damaged by the tsunami. The centerpiece of the US$ 35 million USAID Sri Lanka Tsunami Reconstruction Program (SLTRP), the new bridge will link Pottuvil, Arugam Bay, and Panama and promote tourism in these coastal villages.