The 2004 Asia Tsunami devastated Sri Lanka’s coastline, resulting in over 30,000 deaths and the displacement of thousands of households. Communities as far north as Jaffna and as far south as Galle were left without homes and community infrastructure. Many people fled from the coastal areas and sought shelter on higher ground in schools, temples and churches. Economic security for households was shattered following the disaster, with 90% of working men and women losing their sources of livelihoods. (Source: ILO Sri Lanka, June 2005.) Many affected areas in the East and the North were also previously impacted by civil conflict, which exacerbated conditions for displaced communities in these areas of the country.
World Vision launched an emergency relief programme in response to the disaster, followed by a comprehensive recovery program that has also worked to address the needs of conflict-affected communities. This Final Report details the response since December 2004, and its impact on the recovery of targeted households.
Pre-tsunami conditions restored and quality of life improved for tsunami-affected communities in Ampara, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Colombo, Galle, Hambantota, Kalutara, Matara, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Jaffna.
World Vision in Sri Lanka
World Vision was already present in 12 districts in Sri Lanka (including some fully or partially LTTE controlled areas) when the tsunami struck and was well-positioned to provide immediate information on the extent of the damage and the degree of need in affected areas.
The graphic below highlights the geographical areas World Vision worked in during the response.
Conflict-affected communities in Jaffna, Mullaitivu and Maritimepattu were devastated by the tsunami disaster.
The lack of elected political bodies, transparent governance, and the tight control exercised over the area meant that existing sociopolitical tensions were further exacerbated by the tsunami. Communities in the North are characterised by continual displacement, limited access to drinking water and latrines and high unemployment.
The context of the Eastern districts of Batticaloa, Ampara and Trincomalee has been one torn between the governance of the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE. Access to water is also an issue in this area, with many households traveling long distances to collect water. Batticaloa district had the greatest asset loss - 71% livestock, 59% productive asset loss and boats at 50%.(1) Civil society is also a concern in Batticaloa, as is alcohol abuse and child labour.
The Southern zone remains a minimally conflict-affected area as intense fighting is contained primarily to the North and East. A total of 67,572 families were severely affected and displaced in the costal district of Hambantota, Galle, Kalutara and Matara by the tsunami. This includes major losses of livelihood capital, community infrastructure, schools, shops, roads and water and sanitation infrastructure. People’s access to livelihood opportunities was severely affected by the tsunami, particularly in the South where fishing and tourism activities were the major sources of employment. In Kalutara there was a 73.1% loss of poultry and livestock after the tsunami.(2) Drug abuse was perceived to be the highest threat to children in the South zone.3
(1) World Vision Baseline survey findings, April 2006
(2) World Vision Summary sheet of key findings: Quantitative, March 2006 (Galle) 3 World Vision Summary sheet of key findings: Quantitative, March 2006 (Galle)