Welfare of Displaced poses new challenges- TRO

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 05 January 2005, 02:34 GMT]
Most of the residents from coastal villages who have been affected by Tsunami on 26 December are now in Welfare Centres setup in schools, temples, churches and other public places. The Government of Sri Lanka and other International donor community should urgently assess the future needs of the newly displaced and provide the assistance necessary to look after the welfare of the displaced, officials of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) said.

"There are, at present, 380 welfare centres in 6 districts with 616,255 people sheltered there.

"There are no signs of immediate return to their respective villages due to destruction of social/economic infrastructure.

"The affected people are still in a traumatized condition and worries of possible followup disasters have increased their mental stress level.

"Apart from this, the present temporary welfare centres cannot be maintained continuously as permanent welfare centres for the following reasons.

  • Large numbers of people are currently occupying schools due to school holidays. Schools need to be re-opened when the vacation ends.
  • The smaller centres have a high density of people. Due to this there is danger of contagious diseases spreading. The distribution of water and food is therefore also becoming difficult.
  • As different categories of people such as children under 5 yrs,expectant and nursing mothers, injured and sick are accommodated together in the centres, the chances of social and other problems are imminent.


"Therefore, the provision and maintenance of alternate short-term accommodation with better living standards, within the next 2 weeks is a pressing need," TRO officials said.

The main focus of all organisations is in the provision of essential services. Though this is appreciated now this alone will not be beneficial in the long term. Therefore TRO has requested all donor organizations to also focus on the next course of action for the future stages .

 

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