A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
As the scale of the flood increases in the country, Oxfam continues to expand its rapid response in Eastern Sri Lanka to help the thousands affected.
The international agency is providing hygiene kits, tarpaulins, cooked food and bottled water to approximately 17,000 people in Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Ampara districts in the East.
So far, more than 900,000 people have been affected as a result of the continuous rains that lashed the Eastern, Northern and Central provinces. The rains triggered a sequence of disasters leading from landslides to floods and resulted in many of the displaced taking shelter in welfare camps. Several irrigation tanks in the Eastern and Central Province have been destroyed and the flood waters have inundated 200,000 acres of rice fields.
S.Raguraamamurty, coordinating Oxfam’s flood response in the East, says, “The situation here is quite terrible. The water levels are very high and in some parts of Batticaloa town we now have boats instead of buses. We are facing immense challenges. An immediate priority is getting food and drinking water to people”.
Water levels are continuing to rise and access to many areas is still limited. Rescue operations are ongoing with the help of the Sri Lankan Army, Navy and Air Force.
Notes to editors
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Photos from Sri Lanka are available on request.
Oxfam staff are available for interview on the ground in the affected area.
Oxfam has been supporting projects and partners in Sri Lanka since 1968. Oxfam’s focus, in the country, is on women’s economic and political leadership, livelihoods and economic development, and humanitarian assistance and protection.
For more information:
Thusitha Siriwardana, Campaigns and Policy Manager, Oxfam GB, Colombo
Mobile: +94 (0) 773184817