The holiday season in Sri Lanka has been marked by heavy rains, high winds and landslides affecting 315,000 people in 20 districts through the country. On request of and in coordination with district authorities, International Organization for Migration (IOM) is delivering non-food items from its stocks in the districts.
The hardest hit district is Batticoloa in the Eastern Province with over 229,000 people affected. The police and military are conducting rescue missions where needed and the Government is providing cooked meals to those who have been displaced by the storms. 13,008 houses have been reported by the Government’s Disaster Management Centre as fully or partially damaged.
On request of and in coordination with district authorities, IOM is delivering non-food items from its stocks in Batticoloa, Vavuniya and Kilinochchi districts. To date 1,200 mosquito nets, 650 tarpaulins and 375 mats have been distributed along with 75 NFI kits provided by Americares. Distribution has been made particularly challenging due to the flooding of many roads but began on Christmas Day within 24 hours of IOM receiving the initial request.
Although they have arrived early, heavy rains are common in Sri Lanka at this time of year and the government has not formally declared a disaster. Over the past year, IOM has been working with the Government on disaster preparedness, in particular renovating and reinforcing irrigation tanks to prevent flooding during periods of heavy rain.