COLOMBO, 30 May 2010:Hundreds of thousands of persons were affected by the heavy rains experienced in May. The heavy rains, lightning and thunder storms resulted in flash floods, high levels of water, strong winds and landslides.
It is estimated that more than 600,000 persons (141,000 families) are affected including some 15,000 persons who displaced due to some of the worst rains on record.
UN agencies have responded to assist the affected communities:
IOM is delivering tents, tarpaulins, and other relief items to those affected in 13 of the country’s 25 districts.
WFP has approved an immediate response operation to distribute 800 mts of assorted food commodities, totaling almost Rs 5 million, to flood affected people in the most severely stricken districts of Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara.
UNOCHA is working together with the Disaster Management Centre (DMC)/Emergency Operations Centre to compile information on flood affected communities to ensure the public is aware of the developing situation and also help UN agencies streamline response.
UNHCR has provided the DMC with 1,336 items of multipurpose cloth, 2,000 kerosene stoves and four community sized cooking pots to be distributed among flood-hit communities.
WHO supported the Ministry of Health (MoH) with surge capacity by providing US$ 15,000 to respond to the most affected districts – Kalutara, Gampaha, Colombo, Matara, Galle and Puttalam.
WHO also provided 60,000 chlorine tablets to the MoH to be used for flood relief measures.
WHO also continues to provide necessary support to the RDHS in the Gampaha district and the MoH in the control of communicable diseases. Health education activities have also started on creating public awareness.
UNICEF has delivered 32 units of 1000 litre water tanks, 70,000 water purification tablets, 25 plastic baby potties, 10,888 soap and 500 sanitary napkin packets to the DMC for distribution.
UNICEF has delivered 256 numbers of plastic sheeting, 26 community cooking pots, 1,053 family cooking sets, 690 (15 litre) plastic buckets and mosquito nets for infants.
UNICEF provided an additional 10,000 water purification tablets and have readied 3,000 packs of High Energy Biscuits to the Disaster Management Unit at the MoH.
UNDP offered USD 100,000 as emergency and recovery assistance. This financial and staff support improved the coordination of information collection, situation reporting and relief distribution. UNDP will also provide technical and financial inputs to conduct an Integrated Loss and Damage Assessment that will summarize the damage caused by flooding.