Vanni irrigation bunds close to breach, threaten 10,000 IDPs
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 26 November 2008, 05:03 GMT]
Increasing water levels due to non-stop rain the past five days, and the earth bunds critically weakened to withstand water pressure in several irrigation tanks, including Visuvamadu and Udaiyaarkaddu in Vanni, are posing increasing danger to populated neighborhoods and closeby temporary shelters of internally displaced, civil society sources in Vanni said. More than 10,000 IDPs are being relocated throughout Vanni due to the threat posed by flood waters, according to local officials.
Staff of Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO), Tamileelam Police, staff at the Tamileelam Administrative Sector, citizen volunteers, and LTTE fighters are evacuating the several thousand internally displaced in an emergency operation in areas endangered by flood waters in the event of breach of bunds of reservoirs.
Villages of Vaddakkachchi, Pu'liyampokka'nai, Ka'ndaava'lai, and Chu'ndiku'lam have been mostly affected by flood water.
The floods have caused the IDPs to flee as humanitarian relief that has reached Vanni in U.N. convoys was awaiting to be channeled to the IDPs through the cooperative societies. Civilians had to reach the supply mechanism to receive their rations.
Relief supplies provided by India to Vanni refugees are yet to reach Vanni.
At this juncture, the flooding has cut off the humanitarian supply route, which runs through Nedungkea'ni to Mullaiththeevu from Pu'liayangku'lam.
The TRO remains the only local NGO which has to attend to the large population affected by the floods, using the limited but dwindling resources at its disposal for immediate assistance.
Several low lying lands in Vanni are under water, and the several administrative offices, including the Zonal Education Office in Puthukkudiyi’ruppu are submerged in water, according to officials.
Floods have further disrupted the education of Vanni school children already suffering from displacements and other effects of war, school officials said.
25.11.08 Rain, floods add to Vanni IDPs woes