Monsoon rains hit northern Sri Lanka affecting camps where more than 280,000 mostly Tamil refugees remain after the defeat of the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in May.
The rains inundated camps in Vanni and other regions, Minister of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services Rishad Bathiudeen said today in a telephone interview from the capital, Colombo. He blamed United Nations agencies for failing to build drainage systems at the camps.
IRIN reports nearly the 300,000 people
live in 30 government camps in Vavuniya, Mannar, Jaffna and Trincomalee districts after fleeing fighting between government forces and the now defeated Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May.
“We’re not prepared for this. I’m afraid things are going to get much worse,” one international medical officer told IRIN in Vavuniya on 17 August, citing concerns over diarrhoea, dysentery and other waterborne diseases.
“From an epidemiological point of view, this is a public health disaster waiting to happen.”