Ten districts of Sri Lanka have been experiencing severe floods and landslides since June 3rd due to the south-western monsoon rains. According to the Disaster Management Center (DMC) of Sri Lanka, 271,110 people have been affected, whilst 26,806 people have been displaced. Furthermore, structural damage to several buildings also have been reported in several areas.
Even though the rains have subsided, and the water has receded in certain areas, the lives of countless people have been severely affected. Families are returning to their homes, but many have lost most of their belongings.
Through the needs assessments conducted in the flood-affected Kalutara and Colombo districts, ADRA discovered that families needed various household, kitchen, and personal care items that could help them restart their lives gradually. As a response initiative, ADRA activated its National Emergency Management Plan (NEMP) to distribute Non-Food Item (NFI) kits to those affected in the Kalutara and Colombo districts. The NFI kits consisted of essentials such as mosquito nets, towels, sanitary pads, bed sheets, buckets, cups, and other toiletries. These kits were designed to meet SPHERE humanitarian response standards and to specifically meet the contextual needs arising due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
ADRA coordinated with the Disaster Management Center and the relevant District Secretariats in the Kalutara and Colombo districts to distribute 415 NFI kits to the most vulnerable families affected. ADRA’s relief efforts in the Kalutara district were carried out with the help of a local non-governmental organization, Nature Volunteers Association.
Violet Kusuma was one of the beneficiaries from Waliwita in the Colombo District who was severely affected by the floods. Most of her children have married and moved away but she lives with one of her sons who is a person with a disability. Violet is the sole breadwinner of her family. For a living, she sells coconut and other fruits from her garden on a small hut by the side of the road. ‘‘We are so grateful for your assistance. We had to move out of our house and live in the hut due to the floods. Water has receded now, and we have moved back to our house, but all our cooking utensils and other belongings have been severely damaged. So, these items that you have donated mean a lot to us,’’ says Violet.
This emergency response was funded by ADRA International through the Disaster and Famine Relief of Offering (DFRO) and the Sri Lanka Mission of Seventh-day Adventists.