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Health Fears after Sri Lanka Floods

[AlertNet, Wednesday, 19 January 2011 09:09 No Comment]

Children’s Charity Plan International says people returning to their homes after floods in Sri Lanka are facing serious health risks.

Torrential rains have caused the deaths of at least 40 people in the country and have affected more than one million.

Water levels have started to recede, but now Sri Lankans are facing additional problems.

“Sanitation is a major concern, particularly in return areas where latrines have been blocked up by flood waters and are now unusable,” says Plan International’s Country Director in Sri Lanka, Ned Espey.

“Many homes have suffered critical structural damage and basic living equipment has been destroyed.”

Mobile clinics are providing health care to thousands of displaced people who are still staying in temporary evacuation centres.

Thousands of children are still unable to get back to school.

“Nearly 450 schools currently being used as a temporary evacuation centres will require cleaning and repair before education activities can resume,” says Mr Espey.

“A total of 821 flood damaged schools will also need to be renovated or refurbished.”

Around 350,000 students will need school books and other stationery.

“In the meantime, temporary learning spaces will need to be established to resume education services,” explains Mr Espey.

Plan International has made an initial commitment of $100,000 to provide back-to-school items through the Sri Lankan Disaster Management Centre and the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Empowerment.

The charity is in discussion with the Ministry of Education to support the reopening of primary schools.

“At least 85 families with children sponsored through Plan have been affected by the floods,” adds Mr Espey.  

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