The recent flooding and landslides in Sri Lanka have wreaked havoc across the country. At least 200,000 people have been displaced by the floods, many casualties have been reported and dozens are missing under the mud of the landslide at Aranayake.
The Board of Social Responsibility (BSR) of the Church of Ceylon supported the rescue operations by contributing fuel to some 30 boats operating in the initial emergency rescue operations that were underway when the disastrous flood hit the country. Many many individuals, groups, organizations both private and government came together to respond. The BSR came to a decision to assist in three phases – namely Relief, Recovery and Livelihood. They also decided to select a manageable number of people to assist in order to ensure that what was done – was done well.
The Relief operation concluded on the 8th of June and we are very grateful for everyone who contributed generously through cash, kind and those who volunteered their time. Our packs consisted of dry rations, water and other food items along with items like cleaning liquids, Gum boots for the affected and the volunteers and water purification tablets.
The Recovery activities commenced on Friday the 10th of June and our assistance consisted of mattresses, pillows, cooking utensils, school stationery. We assisted a total of 100 families in Puttalam, Chilaw, Urubokke and Dandugama. In addition to this some needy families in Dandugama were assisted with roofing sheets and cement as well. The BSR team with senior church officials and very active young members and staff were instrumental in negotiating the best prices and getting all the activities off the ground in an efficient and effective manner. We are grateful to everyone who worked hard in this endeavor and acknowledge with thankfulness all who donated funds to purchase these items.
We are now poised to commence the final phase of the program – assisting families in rehabilitation and reconstruction and also to recommence their livelihood activities. Currently the needs assessment is being carried out and work will start as soon as the exact requirements are ascertained.