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Report: Vanni Situation Report from Sri Lankan Government Official

March 13, 2009

Secretary,

Ministry of Public Administration & Home Affairs,

Colombo.

Through,

Govt.Agent/District Secretary,

Mullaitivu District.

Situation Report – February, 2009

Mullaitivu District

The situation report of Mullaitivu District for the month of February, 2009 is forwarded herewith for your perusal please.

K.Parthipan,

Addl.Govt.Agent,

Mullaitivu District.

SITUATION REPORT as at 28.02.2009

Mullaitivu District

Preamble

Mullaitivu is the most affected District by the recent disasters. The District consists of five AGA Divisions. The Main sources of income of the people are Agriculture and Fishing.

Almost the entire people from all AGA Divisions of the District are displaced. The IDPs of Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi and parts of Vavuniya, Mannar and Jaffna Districts are now staying in Mullaitivu District.

Most of them are staying in the Safer Zone proclaimed by the Government. They are staying the villages of Palayamaththalan, Puthumaththalan, Ampalavanpokkanai, Valangermadam, Mulliwaikal West and Mulliwaikal East coming under the Maritimepattu AGA division. Some are staying in Iranaipalai & Anandapuram villages coming under the Puthukkudiyiruppu AGA Division.

The population of Mullaitivu District at present is about 81,000 families, consisting of about 330,000 persons. This population is now living in the above mentioned villages amidst untold difficulties.

The authorities responsible are unable to provide the much needed pure drinking water and sanitation facilities due to lack of resources.

The safer zone is extremely congested and most of the people are living under plastic tarpaulin sheets along the eastern coast and around the lagoon.

The required food items for the issue of Dry Ration under WFP have not been transported to the district. Only a few MT of food items were brought by ships and were issued to the IDPs. There is a severe shortage for food in the area. People are unable to purchase the food in the market. Prices of the food items have increased and vegetables and fruits are not available at all in the area.

Amidst severe hardship, fear and risk of life, the government employees loyally render their services to the best of their ability.

01.Population

People of Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi Districts and part of Vavuniya, Jaffna and Mannar Districts are displaced and are staying in the shrunken Mullaitivu District. About 81,000 families consisting of 330,000 persons are presently staying in the Safer Zone proclaimed by the Government, which consists of the Villages of Palayamaththalan, Puthumaththalan, Ampalavanpokkanai, Valaingermadam, Mulliwaikal West and Mulliwaikal East coming under the Maritimepattu AGA Division. Some people are staying in the villages of Irranaippalai and Ananthapuram coming under the Puthukkudiyiruppu AGA Division.

02.Issue of Dry Ration

Food items for the issue of Dry Ration are being transported by Ships and offloaded at Puthumaththalan.

Requirement of the essential food items for the issue of Dry Ration under WFP for the month of February, 2009 is as follows.

S.No Items Quantity required

for the Month (MT)

01. Rice 1980

02. Wheat Flour 1980

03. Dhal 594

04. Sugar 198

05. Oil 198

Total 4950

Note: – The required quantity is calculated based on the quantity approved by the WFP.

As the required quantity of food has not been received, dry ration was issued only for a few IDPs, nearly about 30,000 members. Others could not get food from any other sources and they are hungry.

The innocent people including children and women are in a pathetic condition and very soon they will die due to starvation. The Regional Director of Health Services, Mullaitivu has informed us that 13 people have already died due to starvation.

The details of the Essential food and Supplementary food items received by the ships in February, 2009 are as follows.
S.No Date Name of the Ships Items Quantity received (MT)
01 16.02.2009 Singabahu -02 Wheat Flour 19.9
Dhal 5.8
Sugar 4.1
02 19.02.2009 Green Ocean Wheat Flour 10
03 21.02.2009 Seruvela – 02 Sugar 3
Wheat Flour 4
Samaposha 0.5
Soya 0.3
Kadalai 0.684
Tea 0.646
Dry Fish 1.03
Chilli Powder 0.521
Coconut oil 10.18 l
Milk powder (Anchor) 7317 Box
Milk powder (Anchor 1+) 3240 Box
Ceralac 1475 Box
Green gram 1
04 24.02.2009 Green Ocean Wheat Flour 8
Sugar 1
Dhal 1
05 26.02.2009 Singabagu-02 Wheat Flour 30
Sugar 2
Dhal 6
Vegetable Oil 1.910
06 28.02.2009 Green Ocean Wheat Flour 10
Dhal 5
Oil 5

03.Health

  • The Divisional Hospital, Puthukkudiyiruppu had been shifted to Puthumaththalan GTMS since 05.02.2009 due to the intensive battles in the Puthukkudiyiruppu area and is functioning amidst great difficulties such as shortage of medical staff, medicines and infrastructural facilities.
  • This is the only Hospital functioning with temporary wards, labour room and theater facilities and there are five centers providing OPD care services and mother and child health clinic services.

The Puthumaththalan Hospital treats an average of about 75 – 150 casualties, 20 – 30 children, 30 – 50 pregnant mothers and more than 400 in ward patients daily.

  • The war causalities and those who are seriously ill are transported to Trincomalee by ships with the help of the ICRC.
  • Details of patients transported from DH, Puthukkudiyiruppu (Puthumaththalan) to Trincomalee Hospital by ships are as follows.

S.No Date Name of the Ship No. of Patients transported

1. 10.02.2009 Green Ocean 368
2. 12.02.2009 Green Ocean 424
3. 16.02.2009 Green Ocean 440
4. 20.02.2009 Green Ocean 398
5. 24.02.2009 Green Ocean 366
6. 28.02.2009 Green Ocean 252

  • According to the report of the RDHS, Mullaitivu there is a severe shortage of medicines, particularly the anesthetic drugs, surgical items, IV fluids (normal saline/Dextrose/Hartman), IV antibiotics ( C.Penicillen / Ampicillen / Cefotaxcme ), Oral antibiotics (Amoxycilei/Flagyl/Penicillci/Cotrim), Pardiatric syrups, Jeevani, ARV toxoid and Vaccines.

04.Education

Schools are not functioning. Schools in the safer zone except Puthumaththalan GTMS are occupied by the IDPs.

05.Postal

Mails to and from the District have not been transported in the month. As the postal services are the only means of communication, the people and organizations in the district are very much affected.

06.Banks

The state banks such as the Bank of Ceylon and the People’s Bank which were functioning at Puthukkudiyiruppu are not functioning now. The officers of the Government Departments and other State Institutions are finding it extremely difficult to get their salaries. People are unable to make their cash transactions and the day to day life of the general public of the District are also adversely affected due to the non functioning of the Banks.

07.Trading Activities

Transport of food and other items to Mullaitivu District by land route was not possible. Due to the shortage of food and Non food items, prices of these items have increase to manifold. There is a scarcity of the essential food items in the District.

08.Shelter

Permanent shelters in the villages mentioned above are much less compare to the original population here.

Most of the IDPs are staying in the temporary tarpaulin sheets shelters and under the trees in these villages. As a lot of people stay in the small stitch of the costal belt, people have put up these tarpaulin shelters along the sea shore and around the lagoon. The area around the lagoon is not conducive for human habitation. Under the scorching sun its not easy to live under the tarpaulin sheets. As a result chickenpox, diarrhoea, viral fever, sore eyes, cough etc are widespreded and children, women, the elders and those sickly are vulnerable to the onslaught of these disease.

09.Water Supply

There is no common water supply system already functioning in the Safer Zone. As the drinking water facilities in these villages (Costal Belt) are naturally limited, the sudden increase of the population had made the situation worse. It is very difficult to issue the much needed pure drinking water to the IDPs by the Pradeshiyasabha, Maritimepattu and Puthukkudiyiruppu. Yet with the help of the Local Staff of INGOs, such as Solidar and Oxfam, the Pradesiyasabhas manage to issue the drinking water to a segment of the population. This sector needs a lot of material and tools. Shortage of fuel and other resource hamper this work.

10.Sanitation

Sanitation facilities for the permanent residents of villages were already insufficient. Now the IDPs use the sea shore and the lagoon for toilet purposes. Needed toilet materials are not available in the area. This would lead to a health crisis in the near future.

Conclusion

A large number of the IDPs are living in a small stretch of the eastern costal belt which is undeveloped. Their day to day life has become a struggle for survival.

The government institutions and the available officials are rendering their services to the beleaguered people with dedication amidst severe unstrings.

Urgent action is called for to provide the people in Mullaitivu District with the basic needs such as food, medicines, water & sanitation and shelter materials on a humanitarian basis.

If the same situation continues, a large number of people will die due to starvation and illness.

  • **
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