Focus shifts to long term recovery after floods, landslides

SLRCThe Sri Lanka Red Cross Society says it has ended the emergency phase of its operations after the floods and landslides in Sri Lanka and will shift focus on longer term recovery and reconstruction needs from today.

As of now, 105 people are known to have died and many remain missing, most as a result of two deadly landslides in Aranayake, in the hills of Kegalle district.

During the emergency phase the Red Cross managed to reach over 200,000 people directly and indirectly through first aid, providing of food and dry rations, emergency evacuation, search and rescue, distribution of non food relief items, psychological support and through providing support for people housed at temporary camps.

From 1st June 2016, the operation will move on towards focusing on longer term recovery and reconstruction needs of the people affected by floods and landslides.

In the first phase the SLRCS with support from the International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) aims to reach 40,000 people with aid over the next 18 months. The support will consist of providing relief items, cash transfers that will help households recover or diversify their livelihoods by establishing agriculture and livestock projects or small and medium-scale business ventures.

Cash transfers coupled with guidance on safer shelter construction will also be channelled to families to make repairs to their homes.

In Aranayake and Bulathkohupitiya the Red Cross is currently in discussion with Government Authorities in order to provide housing for the people who survived the landslide. A safer location needs to be demarcated by the Government and should be agreed by the people prior to the reconstruction efforts can take place.

SLRC said that as they move away from the emergency phase they appeal to all to continue to be with the people affected by floods and landslides as they strive to return to normality and to live a dignified life. (Colombo Gazette)


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