Deputy British High Commissioner, Mark Gooding, paid a visit to the Eastern Flood Recovery Programme managed by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) during a recent official tour of the East, reiterating the UK’s support towards the flood relief efforts in the area.
In February 2011, visiting FCO Minister Alistair Burt announced that the UK Government would be making a contribution of £100,000 towards aid for victims of the recent floods in the East of Sri Lanka. This funding was subsequently given to FAO’s Eastern Flood Recovery Programme.
Through the UK’s support for the programme, up to 30,000 households in the East received vegetable seed kits this Yala 2011 season to cultivate home gardens. These vulnerable farm based households from the eastern districts of Ampara, Batticaloa and Trincomalee had lost their entire crop during the previous Maha 2010/11 season due to the heavy rains and flooding that occurred in two phases, between December 2010 and February 2011. Two types of assorted vegetable seed kits (15,000 of each type) were provided, depending on farmer preference, which included seeds of bushitao, bitter gourd, amaranthus, tomato, chilli, okra, snake gourd, brinjal and capsicum. Each kit contained sufficient seed to cultivate up to ¼ acre per household. FAO has worked in partnership with the Department of Agriculture and Divisional Secretariats in the targeted districts to select beneficiaries for the vegetable seed kits. Emphasis was made to select and assist vulnerable and women headed households as a priority.
Commenting on the programme, Deputy British High Commissioner, Mark Gooding, said:
“The UK Government is glad to have provided assistance to those affected by the floods in the Eastern Province. The impact of the floods was devastating, particularly on agriculture, robbing people of their livelihood overnight. We appreciate the efforts made by FAO to alleviate this situation and we are delighted we were able to contribute towards their relief work.”