Sri Lanka: Tropical storm Roanu caused widespread flooding and landslides
On 15 May 2016 Sri Lanka was hit by a severe tropical storm Roanu that caused widespread flooding and landslides in 22 districts out 25 districts in the country, destroying homes and submerging entire villages and urban neighbourhoods. More than 300,000 people have been affected according to Sri Lanka Disaster Management Centre. These were reportedly the worst floods in 25 years. Colombo District is the worst affected district in the country with 190,349 people affected by the floods. This is mostly as a result of large numbers of people living on reclaimed, marsh land that is highly susceptible to flooding.
One of the most affected Divisional Secretariat (DS) divisions in Colombo District was Kolonnawa. The main reasons for these heavy damages were that this area being a low lying area located adjacent to Kelani River and flood water remained without receding for over one week. There are 46 Grama Diladhari (GN) Divisions in Kolonnawa DS Division, out of which 39 had the worst experience of the floods and damages to infrastructure, properties and people’s livelihoods. It was reported that about 18,756 families or 94,151 individuals were affected.
PIN together with local implementing partner Sevanatha works on rehabilitation of local infrastructure and resilience building of floods-affected communities in neighbourhoods of Kolonnawa DS Division. This action is mostly focused on community needs as decreasing of communities ‘vulnerabilities towards future disasters, rehabilitation of damages houses, sanitation facilities, drains and drainage networks and culverts.
PIN has been operating in Sri Lanka since January 2005 providing humanitarian aid and rehabilitation/ recovery assistance to tsunami and conflict-affected population, esp. in the North and East of the country. Current PIN activities focus on development of small and medium scale biogas sector (EU funding) as well as preparation of intervention for urban planning in urban poor areas in partnership with Sevanatha, which is a proposed partner for this project as well. Sevanatha was established in 1989 as a local NGO in Colombo by a group of grassroots human settlement activists to assist urban poor communities to improve their shelter and livelihoods.