COLOMBO, SRI LANKA (February 3, 2011) – While the floodwaters and heavy rains that began in December last year have largely ceased, over a million Sri Lankans now face the difficult task of recovering from the devastation caused to their property and livelihoods. The thousands displaced at the peak of the crisis have now either returned to their homes or have temporarily moved in with friends and relatives.
While deaths and injuries as a result of the disaster have been comparatively low, the impact on agriculture has been particularly devastating, raising food security concerns and exacerbating existing vulnerabilities compromising families’ ability to recover. The most recent estimates of losses are valued at US$120 million for the 2011 Maha planting season alone.
In the worst-affected districts of Batticaloa, Ampara and Trincomalee an estimated 300,000-400,000 acres of paddy have been damaged, while hundreds of heads of livestock have been lost, compromising the livelihoods and food security of families predominantly dependant on farming. Not only have harvests from the last cropping season been lost, the loss of seed paddy, inputs, damage to irrigation systems, contamination of agriculture land and water is greatly compromising farmers’ ability to resume planting in the coming months. Aside from livelihoods, some 34,000 houses, major roads, access ways and irrigation systems have also been damaged.
CARE Sri Lanka has been responding to the immediate needs of approximately 24,000 people affected by the heavy rains and floods in the districts of Batticaloa, Ampara, Polonnaruwa and Trincomalee. Support has been comprised of dry food rations and non-food relief items, in addition to water provision. In the coming days and weeks CARE will continue to work with government and its local partners to extend support to families in these districts by providing food rations, shelter material and the cleaning of water sources that will help families cope with their immediate needs in addition to supporting their long-term recovery.
Faizal A. Cader (in Sri Lanka): office +94 11 5399202, mobile: +94 77 3403227, email@example.com
About CARE: Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. Working side by side with poor people in 70 countries, CARE helps empower communities to address the greatest threats to their survival. Women are at the heart of CARE’s efforts to improve health, education and economic development because experience shows that a woman’s achievements yield dramatic benefits for her entire family. CARE is also committed to providing lifesaving assistance during times of crisis, and helping rebuild safer, stronger communities afterward. We advocate for policies that defend the dignity of all people and promote the eradication of poverty. CARE has worked in Sri Lanka since 1950. For more information about CARE's work in Sri Lanka, click here.«All Press Releases