Hi guys, hope you are doing well. We, Sri Lankans, are not doing very well. You might already know why. Some parts of Sri Lanka are suffering from a major flood. To be exact, some parts of Western Province, Southern Province and Sabaragamuwa Province are heavily affected by the flood (total of 15 districts). Combined with the flood, landslides have made it far worse.
But first, let me give you an idea of the magnitude of this crisis.
As of 31st May 2017, according to DMC (Disaster Management Center), statistics are are as follows.
Number of deaths : 203
Number of missing persons : 96
Total number of people affected : 631,346
Number of families affected : 164,264
Number of totally destroyed houses : 1,508
Number of partially destroyed houses : 7,617
Number of relief camps : 368
These are only the recorded statistics, the actual numbers may be way higher than this. The number of relief camps here is only the official ones. There are many more places where people are still trapped by the water.
In some areas the water has withdrawn, in some areas the water is still withdrawing and in some areas the water still remains the same. It is reported that the water level of Rathnapura area has risen again. The worst thing is, the rain has started again in hill country. So it is very unpredictable what will be the situation in coming days. It may might become worse also.
Landslides occurred in several places have made the majority of the damage. National Building Research Organisation is still giving ‘Landslide Early Warnings‘ to a number of areas in several Districts.
This sudden flood and landslides are occurred due to the adverse rain from the South West monsoon. But above all informal development, lack of proper governmental strategies and zero commitment of politicians to these matters are the main reason for this kind of disasters. Even after this disaster took place, the politicians’ involvement in it is almost zero. Whole another website can be written about this tragic behavior of Sri Lankan politicians, so let’s not go in there.
So the Common Public, Tri-Forces, Police, Officials and various Organizations have taken the responsibility of rescuing, feeding and relocating of affected people. Tri-Forces are working around the clock in rescue operations and the support from the public to these operations are priceless. Organizations and individuals have contributed in various ways in providing resources for these operations, such as boats, vehicles, tools etc.
But some landslide sites are still inaccessible in Bulathsinhala and Deniyaya area. The only way they can be reached is by helicopters. Air Force is doing their best to reach these places.
The next challenge is to fulfill the basic needs of affected people. Most of them have lost everything in their possessions. The most critical thing is drinking water. Each and every water sources are polluted by the flood in affected areas. So there is a critical requirement of water for these people. Food is also the same, people in relief camps and trapped areas have nothing to eat.
But our people never gave them up. Starting from the first date of the flood, rescue and relief missions are still taking place. And People are donating various things to the best of their capacity. Water bottles, cooked foods, dry foods, biscuits, clothes, all kinds sanitary needs, candles (no electricity in most affected areas), medicines, etc. People have given their own lunch packet to the collection points, to be sent to affected people. You might not believe that there were almost no water bottles left to buy around affected areas.
Further volunteer organizations and groups have come forward to provide their labour to recover affected people. Voluntary medical services, cleaning services, repair services, transport services are provided by people. We can be really proud of our own people with the way they are helping the needed.
What You Can Do?
But as a third world country, we can’t fulfill the total requirement of affected people alone. And this is where we need the sincere support from other countries. Since there are lots more to be done, your donations will be an immense support for our people, just like in 2004, when the Tsunami hit Sri Lanka.
What are to be done further more?
- Hundreds of thousands of people have to be fed few more weeks until they settle down
- Several diseases can be spread in affected areas and in relief camps, they have to be prevented and treated
- Affected people’s other basic needs to be fulfilled like clothes and sanitary needs
- Necessary stationaries, textbooks and notes have to be provided for students who lost those things (G.C.E. Advanced Level examination is in three months)
- Houses have to be cleaned including drinking water wells
- Damaged houses have to be repaired and totally destroyed houses have to be rebuilt (see the stats at the beginning)
- Damaged public properties have to be re-constructed like roads, schools, hospitals etc.
The government at least doesn’t give enough effort to get foreign help to overcome this crisis. That part also has to be done by various organizations and individuals. By writing this article, I’m trying to help those fundraising programs at least a bit.
We know that you people would like to help us for sure after getting to know what has happened and how critical the situation is. You might be wondering how to submit your donations and what are the trustworthy mediums. Actually, that is the main focus of writing this article, providing you with reliable details how to submit your donations.
I need not to tell anything about this since Red Cross is the world’s most trusted and most active disaster relief organization. And you can donate directly online to their Sri Lankan branch via above link.
— Sri Lanka Red Cross (@SLRedCross) 27 May 2017
Sarvodaya is the largest NGO founded in Sri Lanka. It is a well reputed and trusted organization for helping Sri Lankan to grow, especially in rural areas. In this crisis, they have involved directly to provide food and other necessities to the people. They are accepting both local and international donations. You can make your donation online via the above link. Your donations will make their campaign more successful.
Foundation of Goodness is another Non-Profit NGO that serves Sri Lanka just like Sarvodaya. They are well reputed and appreciated in Sri Lanka. They are conducting a number of projects in various sectors to increase the living standard of Sri Lankans. In this disastrous situation they are helping the victims in various ways. Follow the above link to see more details of their works. You can submit your donations to them and they will take them to the correct place in the correct manner. Click here is you wish to donate.
This is a Facebook based fundraiser (a relatively new thing in FB) run by a Sri Lankan, Roshan Liyanage. This fundraiser is verified by many trusted sources as legitimate one. You don’t have to hesitate about the trustworthiness. Here you can directly donate via Facebook.
There are many more fundraisers which collect online donations to fight this disaster. I will post them also here, right after verifying their legitimacy.
So this your time to help Sri Lanka stand up again. Sri Lanka needs your assistance. Hope you guys will support us in this crisis.
I will bring more details soon, about the flood and the current situation.
Update (02/06/2017) :
The water in most of the areas has been withdrawn now up to great extent, but not totally. Source from Matara area said that the water was there on roads until today evening. And there is water still in paddy fields and low grounds. Some parts in Rathnapura are still affected. There are areas where boats are needed still to be reached.