Ampara and Batticaloa, on Sri Lanka's east coast are the worst affected areas, where many are taking refuge in emergency shelters. However, the persistent downpours have led to a number of these camps flooding themselves, and families being forced to relocate elsewhere. The floods have also saturated farmland, and at least 35 per cent of the country’s rice crop estimated to have been destroyed, raising fears of future food shortages and price inflation.
Flood water has affected SOS Children's Village Anuradhapura, in the north of the country. Roads have been closed and one of the main water tanks in Anuradhapura is on the verge of over spilling. Water has entered the Children’s Village, causing sanitation facilities to overflow. The pillars holding the boundary wall of SOS Children’s Village Anuradhapura had to be removed after the local government found that they were distorting the flow of water and causing severe flooding to the area behind the Village. The SOS children, mothers and Village staff remain on the Village site for the time being, but the rain is continuing. Divakar Ratnadurai, deputy National Director of SOS Children's Villages Sri Lanka, says that if the situation worsens, the SOS families will be moved into three safe places which have already been indentified.
The SOS Nursery in Morakkottanchenai, near Batticaloa, has also been damaged. The nursery has been forced to close, with paperwork, food items, and furniture destroyed by the rains. Family houses SOS built in the area for victims of the 2004 tsunami also took the brunt of heavy rains.
The extent of the structural damage in both Anuradhapura and Morakkottanchenai will be assessed after the situation has improved.
SOS Children has been working in Sri Lanka since 1980. We have five SOS Children’s Villages located across the country which provide a loving home for over 500 children. In addition, we run SOS Youth Homes, SOS Schools, Vocational Training Centres and Family Strengthening Programmes for local communities.