Sri Lanka floods
A second wave of flooding has deepened the crisis in Sri Lanka. One million people have already been affected by relentless monsoon rains in early January 2011, which caused floods and mudslides across the eastern and central regions of Sri Lanka.
The recent floods have been more widespread, affecting 18 districts in the eastern, northern, central and north-central provinces. More than a million people have been affected in the new flooding and at least 320,000 have been forced into temporary shelters. Damage to houses, roads and farmlands has been made worse. Many areas are still inaccessible, making it difficult to conduct rescue and relief operations and to assess the extent of damage.
Right now we’re focusing on the urgent need for food, water, shelter, safety and santiation. But the long-term effects of the disaster must also be addressed: It’s estimated that 96% of this season’s crops have been lost, with major consequences for ongoing food supplies and prices in the area.
What Oxfam is doing
We’re working closely with local authorities, local organisations and other agencies to ensure that help quickly reaches the most vulnerable people. So far we’ve reached almost 60,000 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.
In relocation centres, we’ve formed volunteer committees of women and men to decide on and distribute relief items. These committee members 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.
How you can help
Our Sri Lanka floods appeal is now closed, but we still need your support. Please help us respond to similar natural disasters in the future with a donation to our International Crisis Fund.