Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The real ground situation

January 04, 2005

Sri Lanka and rest of the world was not prepared for a disaster of this magnitude! For that very reason, we still find it difficult to reach many areas. As you may have learnt already, there are villages that have been washed away by the waves with no trace of their existence. Many individuals, private companies, and many other groups got together to support in many relief operations. We are just one such party. The death toll after tsunami would have been much higher due to hunger if not for the quick action taken by individuals, several groups, and many private/state organizations to get immediate relief for the survival of victims in affected areas. The sad part is - there are many more in need with no exact statistics available at the moment.

It was depressing to learn from one of my group members who returned from Weligama – Galle, on Sunday how people there have been starving for three-four days. Even few people whose houses are habitable are not in a position to cook a meal with the dry rations they get, as their cooking utensils have been washed away. Even those left with little money have no place to buy food, as stores have been washed away as well.

Temporary shelters like temples and churches have no capacity to cook for the large number of victims they are housing. So we do have a need for water, food, and cooking and sanitary facilities. We are in contact with sources to get this organized. Please check the lists of items required on http://www.lankafood.com/ to see the items still in need. With several foreign governments coming into our aid with helicopters, hopefully we will be able to send relief supplies to rescue people in these areas.

Tharanga Gunaratne.

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