In a statement, the Sri Lanka Red Cross said that since the onset of the flooding, up to 400 Sri Lanka Red Cross volunteers had been actively working in the five worst affected districts of the country, helping in search and rescue efforts as well as delivering aid and administering first aid and psychological support to flood victims.
“So far our services have reached 140,000 people,” said Jagath Abeysinghe, president of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society. “Our volunteers have played a critical role as first responders, warning communities to get to safety, helping to evacuate them and continuing to look after their welfare in temporary evacuation centres.”
At least 102 people have been killed and more than 200,000 people were forced from their homes by the floods and landslides last week and although the floodwaters in most places was now subsiding, some parts of Gampaha and Colombo districts remained submerged and landslide warnings remained in place in rural areas.
The appeal will ensure that people staying in temporary camps have access to safe water and sanitation and one thousand community wells are to be de-contaminated, the statement said.
This will be complimented by health and hygiene awareness to prevent the spread of disease. The appeal will also channel funds to community resilience projects whereby cash grants will be allocated to rural committees and schools to set up small projects including repair of damaged irrigation canals and renovation of infrastructure.
The IFRC appeal will enable the Sri Lanka Red Cross to reach 40,000 people with aid over the next 18 months. As well as receiving relief items, cash transfers will help households recover or diversify their livelihoods by establishing agriculture and livestock projects or small and medium-scale business ventures. Cash transfers coupled with guidance on safer shelter construction will also be channelled to families to make repairs to their homes. Endit