Disease outbreak in Sri Lanka camps 'imminent' says aid agency

Disease outbreak in Sri Lanka camps 'imminent' says aid agency

By staff writers
27 May 2009

Christian Aid is funding emergency relief for tens of thousands of people forced to live in severely overcrowded, temporary camps in Sri Lanka after fleeing from their homes to escape the fighting.

But with hundreds of new arrivals flooding into the camps everyday, they are ‘an epidemic waiting to happen’, warns Robin Greenwood, the director of Christian Aid’s Asia programme.

“A combination of monsoon rains, poor drainage and over-crowding is the ideal breeding ground for diseases like cholera and typhoid,” warns Mr Greenwood.

“I fear that a disease outbreak in northern Sri Lanka is imminent if the government does not tackle the problem of overcrowding and sanitation.

"There are currently 30 people living in tents designed for five people", he added.

“Now that the Sri Lankan government has sovereign control of all of its territory, it must live up to its responsibilities to its citizens and put more into the relief effort,” says Mr Greenwood.

Christian Aid has been working with its local partner organisations to respond to the humanitarian needs of those who have fled from the conflict by providing much-needed relief in the camps.

Donations are urgently needed to continue this work.

- £33 could provide ten blankets and mosquito nets for families arriving with nothing.

- £48 could provide an entire month of specialist medical assistance to injured and sick women and children.

- £125 could pay for nutritious, cooked meals for ten families for a week.

Give to Sri Lanka through Present Aid here

Keywords: sri lanka
Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 England & Wales License. Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.