Million’s affected by flooding in Sri Lanka
In January 2011 prolonged heavy rain caused extensive flooding along the East coast of Sri Lanka, although this flooding did not receive the same level of media coverage as other natural disasters during 2011 the suffering was every bit as real.
Over 1 million people were affected and many living in refugee camps or in flood damaged buildings , these are low income rural areas that had already been affected by the Tunsami and the war. Nearly every household owned at least 1 animal who were also struggling to survive
Disaster response teams from WSPA and Humane Society International carried out the first field visits to assess the situation, reporting back on the sheer scale of the suffering and the lack of available veterinary care for affected animals. A veterinary team shortly followed from TAPA to join with the local Habitat for Humanity teams but they were soon cut off again by rising flood waters and limited supplies , with a short break the rain forecast Dogstar’s team mobilised and travelled overnight with colleagues from Odel’s Embark through heavy flooded areas to deliver urgently needed veterinary supplies and assistance to Batticola.
Over 1600 animals were treated
and not just dogs and cats we treated livestock , animals that survived the initial flooding who had been standing in water for many days and were suffering from foot root and other injuries . Chickens , cows and goats all received life saving treatments and as the waters receded in Batticola Dogstar’s team returned to our clinic base and restocked before traveling back to Polonnaruwa to rejoin TAPA , Embark and the local Government vet in reaching more animals in dire need of veterinary assistance.
Care for entire communities
The Odel Foundation also donated large amounts of clothing to be distributed via Habitat for Humanity who were providing support for the human population , this was very much a joint effort on behalf of the agencies involved and we all intended to and succeded in helping both people and animals affected by this dreadful natural disaster.