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Sri Lanka floods: Access to food and drinking water a priority

Emergency
Sri Lanka

Handicap International is preparing to launch a response in aid of the most vulnerable individuals affected by flooding and landslides in Sri Lanka, which was hit by Cyclone Roanu on 15th May.

Handicap International team evaluating the situation of Kegalle district villages affected by landsides. Some people lost their loved ones. Many of them lost their house, livelihood and are currently living in welfare camps.

Handicap International team evaluating the situation of Kegalle district villages affected by landsides. Some people lost their loved ones. Many of them lost their house, livelihood and are currently living in welfare camps. | © S.Krishanthi / Handicap International

Sri Lanka has experienced its worst flooding in 25 years after it was hit by Cyclone Roanu on 15th May, leaving more than 100 people dead and affecting 300,000 others. Up to 21,000 people have been displaced to temporary accommodation. Handicap International has joined forces with the government and other humanitarian organisations to assess the situation and identify the needs of those affected.

“In urban districts, such as Colombo, the capital, the waste is piling up. We’re afraid there’s going to be a dengue epidemic .The priority is to make sure those affected have access drinking water and hygiene services,” explains Matteo Caprotti, director of Handicap International’s operations in Sri Lanka.

Flooding caused extensive damage to houses and farmland in rural districts. “We still don’t know exactly how much damage has been done, but we need to make sure people have enough food and can find ways to earn a livelihood. Some farmers have lost all of their clove trees, rice fields and tea plantations”.

Following the assessment, Handicap International is planning to work with the World Food Programme (WFP) to ensure the most vulnerable individuals affected by the disaster can access food. This response will be implemented in four of the country’s worst-affected districts: Colombo, Kegalle, Ratnapura and Gampaha.

Date published: 10/06/16

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