ACT Alliance Rapid Response Fund Payment for Sri Lanka Floods

by Elisabeth Gouel | | ACT Alliance - Switzerland
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 15:42 GMT

* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Rapid Response Fund Payment Request No. 09/2014

Funds Sent To: National Christian Council of Sri Lanka
Amount Sent: US$ 58,061

Date: 10 June 2014        

Details of Response

Emergency: Relief Assistance to Flood Affected in Sri Lanka
Date of Emergency: 10 June 2014

ACT Requesting Member: National Christian Council of Sri Lanka


Incessant torrential rains continued heavy downpour from 1 June until evening of 4 June, and caused severe damages mainly to Southern part of Sri Lanka. According to the Disaster management Centre, the rains have had serious impact in the Western, Sabaragamuwa, North Western and Central provinces, causing displacement of 27,243 people (7952 families) due to rains, floods, landslides/mudslides and high winds lightning. The preliminary estimates have reported 22 deaths, full damage to 72 houses and partial damage to 349, and nine people are reportedly missing. The Director Meteorological department has predicted further heavy rainfall has been predicted which would worsen with the onset of the Southeast Monsoons.  The coastal areas from Galle to Potuvil will face rough weather with the likely wind speed up to 60 kmph at times .

The Kalutara district, in the Western province, is the worst affected. A total of 14 out of 22 deaths have occurred here. The low lying areas in the districts of Agalawatte, Palinda Nuwara, Bulathsunhala, Mathugama, Welipanna, Molkawaw, Palawatte, and Omantha are still submerged. The newly constructed Southern High Way is also reported to be flooded. The Aswatte Junction on the Colombo – Avisssawella road is flooded with water to a height 8 feet, due to the overflow of Aswatte Canal forcing the closure of shops and disrupting the lives of the people in the area. Due to the risk of landslide, in house patients and staff of the District Hospital, Meehahatanne have been evacuated, causing the stoppage of work at the hospital. It also reported that 137 schools have also been closed in the western province.

It has been recorded that many main and sub roads have been washed away as a result of flood, earth slips and landslides. The calculated cost of the damage is estimated at LKR 100 Million (USD7.67 million).

A joint search and rescue mission, jointly organized by the army, air force and navy is underway, with local communities also trying to help each other in the neighbourhood.  The displaced people have been moved to makeshift camps organized at schools and places of worship. The Sri Lankan government has allocated funds to meet immediate relief and funeral expenses.  

The Sri Lanka Society of Red Cross has sent immediate relief and first aid teams to assist and aid the affected people. Also the International Federation of Red Cross and the Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and other Red Cross societies are gearing up their response.
Though the SL government and SL Red Cross have started providing assistance to flood affected population, the assistance has not been reaching to all affected people especially in remote areas. Furthermore, the relief items are also not in adequate quantities to cater to the needs of entire affected population.    

The emergency relief unit arm of the Church of Ceylon, has sent alert messages to designated people in vulnerable areas do that they could further disseminate the information. They had activated their network in the respective areas to take suitable precautionary measures.

Most of the affected people are from low country estates of tea and rubber, who have been directly or indirectly affected by the floods. Most of them are daily wage earners and now unable to attend to their work due to inundation and disruption in transport facilities. NCC SL has decided to provide dry ration to such families on priority basis. The local churches have been providing cooked food and have requested more cooked meals and   dry ration packs as immediate relief.



The overarching goal of the programme is to reduce human suffering of the most severely flood affected people by addressing identified  immediate needs and  pave way for faster and improved recovery process.


1.    To provide 2000 packets of cooked food,
2.    To assist and provide 1400 families severely affected by flood  with dry ration  packs,
3.    To empower and assist 100 families affected floods to recover a modicum of self-sufficiency in their day to day lives by providing 100 packs of essential household items
4.     To provide necessary facilities for 250 children/ students continue their education in schools by providing them with educational pack containing the most essential items.
5.    To minimize their vulnerability and by providing assistance for small scale repairs to damaged houses, toilets and wells.    
6.    To build up community level capacity and awareness by conducting awareness programmes on climate change.

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