More than one million people have been affected by flooding in Sri Lanka
Relentless monsoon rains in early January 2011 have caused floods, mudslides and displacement across the eastern and central regions of Sri Lanka. More than 1 million people have been affected, and more than 33,000 families are displaced in temporary relocation centers across the island. As the scale of the flood increases, Oxfam continues to expand our rapid response.
Approximately 90% of the population in the Eastern Province has been affected. The worst-hit area is Batticaloa, where Oxfam has a long-standing program. Here, communities who have experienced see-sawing displacement from the tsunami and conflict in the past few years are again faced with crisis. Some communities are isolated, with entry routes blocked by caved roads and floods.
Immediate needs for food, water, shelter, safety and hygiene are a priority. Although the heavy rains have now subsided and flood waters are beginning to recede, significant and widespread damage means that people will need continued support to re-build their lives over the long-term. It’s estimated that 50% of this season’s paddy cultivation has been lost, with dire consequences for the food security of the area.
What Oxfam is doing
We're working closely with local authorities, local organizations and other agencies to ensure that help quickly reaches the most vulnerable people. So far we've reached more than 59,000 people with cooked food, drinking water, buckets, hygiene kits (including toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, sanitary pads and towels), mosquito nets, tarpaulins, women’s and men’s underwear, and headscarves for Muslim women. We're also providing support to rescue missions. We are targeting to reach 174,000 people in total.
In relocation centers, we are forming volunteer committees of women and men to decide on and distribute relief items. They will play an important role in monitoring the safety and special needs of women, children, the elderly and other vulnerable groups so that their voices are heard and their rights are protected.
Please consider making a donation to the general emergency fund of your nearest national Oxfam affiliate. Your money will be used to fund our emergency work worldwide, which includes responding in countries such as Sri Lanka.