Update on the Flood Damage and Relief Efforts
AS OF 30th MAY 2016
(Department of Meteorology forecasted issued on 20 May 2016 at 05.30am)
The Cyclonic storm ‘ROANU’ in the Bay of Bengal is now located about 900km north of Kankasanturai. It is further moving away from the island. Strong windy conditions over the country and in the sea areas around the island will continue due to the meeting of wind feeding the system. There is a high possibility in sudden increase of rain in the South-western part of the country. If so, fairly heavy to very heavy rainfall (100mm-150mm) is also expected in some areas.
The general public has come forward with massive donations to the flood victims organized by many media & private organizations around the island.
What VOICE FOUNDATION is involved in
The THREE stages of our work are detailed below and includes, but is not limited to, assisting victims in the following areas given below:
1. Immediate Relief Work
2. Rebuilding and Re-establishing
3. Post Relief Work
As of 30th May 2016, we have reached out to approximately 30,000 people. Having responded almost immediately when the floods started, a small team got together, we bought a inflteable boat and with our vehicles we responded to the affected areas ij the outskirts of Colombo covering areas such as Buthgamuwa, Upper Buthgamuwa, Kolonnawa, Angoda & Mulleriyawa, Kaduwela and such places doing the best we could reaching the unreached. Certain occations we were restricted due to the water levels but that did not stop us from getting into the waters and getting across to rescue families or getting relief to those in need.
Since then we have been continuously working for the last two weeks. We are thankful to the number of volunteers that joined us and partnered to help reach those affected when the situations were in a critical stage. Having started with a small team of 10 members, we eventually hade almost a team of 600 plus volunteers helping us through the course of the week from all over the world and we are till getting responses from others who wish to volunteer for the rebuilding process
The post relief work started and we set up teams to the areas we covered to help with the cleaning process and our teams were able to do the needful sometimes where the conditions were in a bad state. Yet it did not prevent them from doing what was needed.
Since post relief work commenced it has been a slow process due to continuous bad weather at a constant holding back the cleaning process at times. We have also identified that many families have been falling sick due to the bad conditions they were left in and also in many cases poor living conditions. We have also begun to be in contact with NGO’s and organizations in setting up medical camps and temporary clinics.
This next phase is what matters most in the restoring and rebuilding re-establishing their livelihood providing whatever necessities required.
We also provided each family with a contact card whilst handing out relief and dry rations in order for them to keep in touch with us and contact us if in need of assistance and to let them know that we shall not forget them nor leave them alone and that we truly will help them rebuild & restore their lives
Counseling is a critical key aspect at this stage for the first week during the floods the families were traumatized that they did not know what was going on and neither did we. It was after the flood waters started to recede and left so much destruction around that we started to see how much really had to be done, and as for the people, almost all were left either emotionally drained and traumatized having lost everything they owned and in some cased having lost loved ones. This is where we are looking to help build a team with trained councellors, a team who are trained in CPR and an emergency medical response team as well who will be ready to be deployed where ever when ever needed
We are looking for volunteers who are willing to join in for the restoration of those affected and are appealing to the international community who are willing to help support in our post relief effort for this rebuilding process of the districts affected within the Island
*We are providing the account set up for relief & post-relief funds below.
Once again we want to warmly extend our thanks to all those who have partnered with us thus far and want to say that we are in the process to help reach the unreached and do the very best we can