UPDATE, February 8, 2011:
The people of Sri Lanka still need your help. The districts of Anuradhapura, Amparai, Batticaloa, Polonnaruwa and Trincomalee are inundated with floodwater for the second time this year. As of February 3, 2011, 254 mm of rain pounded the area in 48 hours, disrupting ongoing relief efforts and re-flooding villages where displaced people had begun to return to their homes. The rains have also triggered terrible landslides in the hill-country of central Sri Lanka. Over 1.2 million people -- 1 in 20 Sri Lankans -- are affected by the floods of January and February 2011.
We encourage our friends to give generously to those in need. We also look to the government of Sri Lanka to demonstrate strong leadership and a commitment to reconciliation by moving swiftly to support its citizens in this time of crisis.
This month, torrential rains flooded several regions of Sri Lanka. In response to this humanitarian crisis, Lanka Solidarity seeks donations to support efforts to resettle and assist impoverished communites displaced by the floods. In a country of 21 million, over one million people have been affected by the floods. The Eastern Province was hit especially hard. According to reports, after 7 inches of rain per day for 2 weeks straight, 75% of Batticaloa is currently under water, where over 50,000 people live in flood-relief camps as of January 17, 2011. An additional 25,755 are in camps in Amparai. It is expected that the rains will continue until the end of monsoon season in February.
In total, the floods covered 11 of the country's 25 districts, flooding homes, causing landslides, ruining crops, damaging dams and wells and killing livestock. In addition to rebuilding housing and infrastructure, Sri Lanka faces the challenge of ensuring food security for its people, as the floods destroyed an estimated 125,000 acres of rice paddy, the country’s staple crop.
As flood waters recede and people slowly return to their homes, they need basic supplies such as rice, flour, stoves, and water purifiers. These floods are especially devastating to an impoverished region that is still rebuilding after decades of a brutal war and the 2004 tsunami. Lanka Solidarity has compiled a list in support of grassroots organizations that are established among local communities and doing flood relief work. We will add to this list as we acquire more information. If you work with a Sri Lankan organization doing flood relief and would like to be considered for this list, please email us at email@example.com.