Interview with Rotarian Shanta who led our mission to the east coast with Rotarian Nalin [RC of Colombo] over the wkend. They visited Arugam Bay, Potuvil, Komari, Sangamankanda, Tirukkovil, Akkaraipattu and Ampara. They could not reach Kalmunai as the bridge in Oluvil [12 kms southof Kalmunai] was still under repair. This is what he had to say:
"The main objective of the mission was to asses firsthand the ground situation in the east coast for our club to plan out mid term and long term projects. We also delivered tents, water purifying filters, medicines, dry rations, fresh water, baby feeding bottles, clothes and toys. The picture shows Shanta [in blue shirt] helping distribute toys at a refugee camp.
He says "We felt there is enough of food, dry rations, clothes for the people in these areas. There is excess and some people are even trying to selling these items." But Shanta said the refugee camps need tents, flash lights, lanterns, blankets and cooking utensils.
"The people need to restart there livelyhoods butdo not have the tools required to do so. The fishermen need new boats or get their damaged boats repaired. They need nets. The farmers need sickles and mamoties. We need to supply these items soon as they are nowgetting lazy and frustrated" he asid. He also thought setting up a boat repair shops and training some people could be a project which we could tie up with foreignclubs.