In December 2010 and January 2011 Batticaloa District was struck by catastrophic floods caused by a very hard hitting North East Monsoon, in one day alone 300mm of rain fell on Batticaloa. In five Districts over a one million people were affected, with over 500,000 people affected in Batticaloa. Many houses and livelihoods were destroyed, with thousands of acres of crops wiped out, farm land flooded and local food prices increased by over 50% locally.
HealthNet TPO supports a day-care centre for disabled children, where they can get (additional) food, education and care. In response to the floods, our local implementing partner MENCAFEP already has helped 160 of the most vulnerable disabled children and their families in Batticaloa District with food and non food packs. In line with the needs assessment, the focus was on providing immediate aid and support through foodstuffs and essential items that were urgently needed.
In summary, the status is as follows:
It is now nearly a year since floods. The ground was completely saturated and took months to completely dry out and the soiled cleaned before new crops could be planted again. Medical professionals all agree there has been an increase in children’s illness since the floods. They also agree that regular checks are needed on children that are the most defenceless. Recently, NGO’s working in and around Batticaloa District estimated that 65% of the children in the District are malnourished.
In short: although the situation already has improved, help is still urgently needed.