26/05/2015 – Moneragala, Sri Lanka: The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society’s Moneragala Branch has taken adequate steps to provide water & sanitation support to over 500 families within the district who are in the drought stricken area of the district.
Families in Guruhela, Suduwatura & Hulandawa received water wells, pumps, tanks, a tap system to excavate the deep water reserves within the area which is one of the main resource of clean water for the people.
Each year despite torrential rains and monsoonal conditions that floods the country, there are areas that suffers from drought conditions. South Eastern districts of the country are the areas that are in the forefront of these drought conditions.
In 2014 It was estimated that around 60% of people living in Ampara, Anuradhapura and Monaragala districts did not have adequate access to safe water for drinking and cooking.
Most dug wells and other available safe water sources were dried out due to the drought experienced last year. Community members – mostly girls and women – are walking great distances of up to 2km each way on a daily basis to collect water for their families.
Chairman of the SLRCS Moneragala Branch Dr. Anura Saman Ekanayake said “During the last year we saw some community members are digging holes in dried up river beds to try and collect water. This water is unsafe and poses a serious health risk, particularly to children and pregnant and lactating women, who are much more likely to contract waterborne diseases and illnesses, including diarrhea.”
The Branch Executive Officer of the SLRCS Moneragala Branch K.H.Gnanamali said “We came to this decision to support these communities after conducting a vulnerable and capacity assessment (VCA).
“Most of the people in the area requested from the Red Cross to provide an adequate method to collect safe drinking water.”
Accordingly the Red Cross Moneragala branch took the necessary steps to provide the same under the Integrated Programme for Community Resilience.
Within this project the Red Cross constructed a new drinking water well at Guruhela Grama Niladari division, installed water pump, installed 1000 liter plastic water tank and constructed a water tap system. Around 400 families will benefit from these facilities.
Meanwhile in Hulandawa Grama Niladari Division the Red Cross installed 8 plastic water tanks 1000L, handed over two water pumps and renovate drinking water well using well- rings and built a wall to protect the premises.