The governmnet together with United Nations has taken speedy measures to address the humanitarian needs of more than 100,000 people affected by flash floods and landslides over the past month as heavy rains continue to fall.
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is providing hygiene kits and water purification tablets as rising floodwaters threaten an outbreak of dengue fever. Measures have been taken to spray mosquito breeding sites.
To support Government’s relief efforts, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Sri Lanka announced that it will provide emergency food assistance for some 400,000 flood affected people.
According to latest statistics of Disaster Management Center (DMC), 823,003 people from 218,007 families have been affected by the floods caused by heavy rains and about 70,000 people are now being housed in emergency relief camps.
Nine deaths have been reported so far and 15 have been injured while one person is missing. Five of the deaths occurred yesterday in the Kandy district when a boulder dislodged by the rains demolished six houses.
The government has allocated 90 million rupees for the welfare of the displaced and affected persons in the districts of Ampara, Batticaloa, and Polonnaruwa.
The relief assistance programme is being carried out through the district secretariats while the cooperation of divisional secretariats, grama niladaries and the security forces has been obtained for a coordinated effort to distribute relief to the affected.
The Health Ministry has taken steps to prevent epidemics in flood hit areas and protect people from diseases. Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday instructed the Health Ministry Secretary to send five medical teams to Ampara, Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Polonnaruwa districts to control a possible outbreak of epidemics.
The army has deployed over 1,000 troops to help the flood relief effort, while the navy has dispatched boats to rescue people in the worst affected areas in central and eastern Provinces.
Meanwhile, all schools in the Central, North Central and Eastern Provinces will be closed today due to the prevailing bad weather, the Education Ministry said.