Sri Lanka was once again affected by severe floods and landslides, in May 2017. While the spread of disaster situation was confined only to 15 districts compared to the 24 districts in the previous year, increased incidents of landslides and deaths in 2017 made the situation equally challenging.
The disaster was triggered by heavy rain and high winds brought about by the southwest monsoon on 25th and 26th May affecting 879,778 people with 219 deaths and 74 missing. The disaster caused destruction and damaged nearly 80,000 houses and affected livelihood of over 342,000 people dependent on agriculture, trade, and industry. The Ministry of Disaster Management and District and Divisional Secretariats led the extensive rescue and relief operations with the support of the Sri Lankan Army, Navy and Air Force, Media, CSOs, private sector and individuals.
A post disaster needs assessment was initiated as moved out of emergency/relief phase. In response to the request of our government, the United Nations, the World Bank and the European Union provided support to the PDNA 2017, while this year’s assessment was carried out using the local capacity build on the internationally accepted methodology last year. The Rapid PDNA was conducted under the overall leadership of the Ministry for Disaster Management and the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs. The line ministries undertook the assessment supported by national experts and the young graduates who were coordinated by the University of Colombo. The report was produced within 1 ½ months based on the participatory process inclusive of all stakeholders and communities in the affected areas. Our sincere thanks to all those who contributed to this report and the UN, WB and EU for their overall guidance.
The PDNA report covers nine sectors and three cross cutting themes and looks at the overall impact of the disaster. As a complement to the PDNA, a Post Disaster Recovery Plan will be developed by the Government of Sri Lanka considering the available resources and budgets for next three years. The overall outcome we are aiming for is a safer Sri Lanka, where the lives of the Sri Lankan people are better protected from extreme events.