Asia Pacific Alliance – Sri Lanka

30°C Colombo | June 22, 2024

Coordinated Relief Efforts in the Wake of Southwest Monsoon Devastation

Coordinated Relief Efforts in the Wake of Southwest Monsoon Devastation

Jun 8, 2024

The recent onset of the southwest monsoon, triggering floods and landslides, has resulted in a tragic loss of life, extensive property damage, and widespread displacement. In response, a high-level meeting was convened on June 5th, 2024, chaired by the Honorable State Minister of Defense at the Ministry Office of the State Ministry of Defense. The meeting underscored the urgency of the situation and the necessity of coordinated efforts to mitigate the impacts and improve preparedness for future incidents.

As of June 5th, the monsoon has affected 13 districts. It was revealed that 65,628 families, totaling 258,165 individuals, have been impacted. Tragically, 30 lives have been lost, and 2 individuals remain missing. It was reported that 166 safety centers have been established across the island, sheltering 3,263 families and approximately 13,000 individuals. The infrastructure damage is substantial, with 60 houses fully destroyed and 8,545 partially damaged. Additionally, 844 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been affected as of May 15th.

Identified needs for relief and recovery include a high priority for submersible water pumps to assist in dewatering flooded areas. Moving forward, the relief process aims to make spaces habitable again by cleaning schools and government offices, rebuilding damaged infrastructure such as bridges, and cleaning up wells.

The health sector anticipates an increase in dengue cases given the stagnant flood water. Additionally, the agricultural community has been affected significantly, necessitating targeted assistance for recovery.

Looking ahead, the meteorological department forecasts a slowdown in the monsoon’s intensity over the upcoming weeks. However, all agencies are advised to remain alert until September, as the pre-monsoon season transitions into the southwest monsoon season in July.

At the meeting, A-PAD represented the private sector, underscoring the vital role of public-private partnerships in emergency response. The outcomes of this meeting were promptly shared with the private sector, ensuring that all stakeholders are aligned and prepared to respond efficiently. A-PAD has been proactive in initiating partnerships, fostering a cooperative environment where resources and expertise are pooled together to enhance emergency response efforts. This synergy between the public and private sectors is pivotal in mitigating the impact of disasters and ensuring swift recovery.

In conclusion, the coordinated relief efforts in the wake of the southwest monsoon devastation highlight the critical need for immediate action and long-term planning. Through the efforts of stakeholders across diverse sectors, there is hope for building back better and encouraging resilient communities.

State Minister of Defence Hon. Premitha Bandara Tennakoon
Emergency coordination meeting on prevailing adverse situations with humanitarian agencies, INGOs, and NGOs