Public returning home urged to be cautious of health issues

A Sri Lankan Red Cross worker demonstrates how to use a ceramic water filter.The public who are returning home after being stranded in floods and landslides have been urged to be cautious of health issues.

The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) said that soon after floods there is a possibility of an increase in vector borne diseases such as dengue, diarrhea (due to the consumption of unclean water) and fever.

The Red Cross requests anyone if they are experiencing any symptoms such as sudden high fever, severe headaches, pain behind the eyes, severe joint and muscle pain, fatigue, nausea, vomiting or severe abdominal or rectal pain to immediately seek medical support and to go see a health professional.

SLRCS is currently assessing the needs of the people for longer term recovery support. Volunteers in the five worst affected districts (Colombo, Gampaha, Kegalle, Rathnapura & Puttalam) are visiting welfare camps and houses to speak with people to understand their immediate and longer term needs. This will assist the Red Cross in determining the best way of support.

The relief efforts of SLRCS meanwhile continues in the aftermath of flash floods and landslides experienced in the recent days, the SLRC said in a statement today.

Over 200 volunteers from Gampaha, Colombo, Kegalle, Puttalam and Rathnapura have been assisting in proving food relief items (such as rice, dhal, sugar, milk powder, baby formula) and non food relief items (such as clothes, hygiene kits and sanitary napkins) and other services (first aid, search and rescue, medical camps) during the past week.

The Red Cross has managed to reach over 140,000 affected people with our services since the flood & landslide relief and rescue operations began.

In Aranayake, SLRCS continues to work with authorities to provide welfare for the people who survived the massive landslide. As of now 47 bodies have been recovered from two landslide locations and over 180 are still missing.

Meanwhile aid from various countries continues to pour in. The Red Cross Society of China donated 50,000 USD to SLRCS through the Chinese Embassy in Colombo. The Singapore Red Cross also provided 150,000 USD to SLRCS for flood recovery efforts. The Turkish Red Crescent sent in relief supplies to SLRCS. A consignment of tents, blankets and solar powered lights were provided to the Red Cross, after which SLRCS donated it to the Ministry of Disaster Management. Emirates Red Crescent is providing support by sending in several delegates to Sri Lanka in order to assist the flood relief operations.

The International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) too launched an appeal to raise over 3 million CHF for longer term recovery needs of the people affected by floods and landslides. (Colombo Gazette)

1 COMMENT

  1. The Sri Lankan Government and or the Ministry of Disaster Management MUST immediately set-in-motion a “monitoring system” to monitor the inflow of funds to the RED CROSS – Sri Lanka which has to report to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Presidential Secretariat/President about all incoming funds and list of material (invoices). There should be a continuous AUDIT on both these transaction that the RED CROSS is engaged in since the recent floods havocked the country. Sincere and honest (patriotic) government officials should be assigned to these functions. They should NOT be like officials that were engaged at RADA during the TSUNAMI disaster in 2005-10. During the TSUNAMI 2004/2005, the Canadian Red Cross misappropriated nearly Cdn.$: 430,000/= that the compassionate, humanitarian conscious and ever ready to be helpful Canadians had contributed to the Red Cross Tsunami Fund in 2005/2006. The Canadian Auditor General even came out with an adverse report on the funding collected and it’s use. During that time/period, Canadian Red Cross so-called volunteers who travelled to Sri Lanka were paid a monthly wage of nearly Cdn.$’s: 10,000/= a month. This was reported in the Media in Canada, but powerful political lobbyists swept it under the carpet. Red Cross Canada always employs former VVIP politicians and or former Canadian Ministers in their high placed employment cadre. Canadian Red Cross volunteers then in Sri Lanka lived in 5 star hotels and even hired a helicopter during their stay to travel to the South from Colombo daily under the pretext of urgent need, to discharge humanitarian service to the victims. When the victims did NOT have even a piece of bread to eat, they had gala dinner parties in Hotels in the South to greet their colleagues.Canadian RED CROSS volunteers were paid nearly Cdn.$’s: 10,000/= per month for their volunteer service during their stay in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lanka Red Cross connived with these HUMAN VULTURES to enjoy a part of the “kill”. This will now happen AGAIN, maybe in a small magnitude, but the vultures who ever they are Canadians or Sri Lankans will spirit away the funds that are donated to the Red Cross for the suffering souls of the FLOOD DISASTER that is taking place in Sri Lanka at the moment. The Yahapalana Government has to take steps to STOP this swindling this time before it is too late.
    Noor Nizam. Peace and Political Activist, Political Communication Researcher, SLFP Stalwart and Convener – The Muslim Voice.

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