Sri Lanka floods

Paul Smith Lomas
January 20th, 2011

The situation in Sri Lanka is very worrying. A few years ago, flooding affecting 300,000 people might have captured the headlines, but these days it feels like this is just business as usual. I had the impression that the reports on Sri Lanka tended to get coverage only because it was one of three countries (Australia, Brazil, and Sri Lanka) all badly affected by exceptional rains.

On the ground of course, whether you’re part of a group of 300 or 300,000 people affected, it can be a truly devastating experience. I have spent time in flooded areas of Bangladesh, and India before now, and the way people cope can be quite amazing.

Practical Action has been working in Kathiravely and Kalmadu where some 150 families are still living in relief camps set up and run by the Government, unable to return home yet. We’re not a relief agency, and are not set up with the kind of logistical capacities to buy and distribute the large amounts of food, blankets, soap and cleaning items that people need today. However, a number of our partners are engaged and we’re helping them where we can.

Soon we will be turning our heads to the task of rebuilding water tanks and flood bunds, and here I am hopeful we can ensure people are aware of the techniques we’ve developed, so structures will be able to withstand future flooding when it occurs. Unfortunately, it does seem that it’s a question of when, not if.

2 Responses to “Sri Lanka floods”

  1. Ruchita Daswani Says:

    Dear Paul,

    My name is Ruchita Daswani. I am a student of Journalism at City University London. I am currently writing a paper on Sri Lanka .I am mailnly concentrating on how the country has been hit by the floods and how are the local people are dealing with it. Having read your blogs related to the topic, I would love to get your point of view on the following:

    How are the people dealing with this disaster?
    Is the Government aid providing much relief to the victims?
    Considering Sri Lanka is a developing country and has faced a lot since the past few years, how dependant are they on International Aid?
    Is there any developmental progress in the country after the defeat of the Tamil Tigers?
    Is the cOuntry finally en route to economical or political development?

    I would realy appreciate all the help.
    It would be a great help to me.
    Thank You
    Ruchita Daswani.

  2. Ruchita Daswani Says:

    Dear Paul,
    How are the people dealing with this disaster?
    Is the Government aid providing much relief to the victims?
    Considering Sri Lanka is a developing country and has faced a lot since the past few years, how dependant are they on International Aid?
    Is there any developmental progress in the country after the defeat of the Tamil Tigers?
    Is the cOuntry finally en route to economical or political development?

    I would realy appreciate all the help.
    It would be a great help to me.
    Thank You
    Ruchita Daswani.

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