by Yudhanjaya Wijeratne

Note: part 2 – the latest (and most coherent) version of this – is here. 

Here’s what we can make out right now. Kotikawatta, Kelaniya, Biyagama, Malwana, Wellampitiya, Kolonnawa, Aranayaka, Dippitiya, Kilinocchi,Meethotamulla, parts of Ja-Ela and Wattala are flooded. According to Anura Yapa’s statement in Parliament, we have:

1. Affected Div Secs: 219
2. Displaced families: 98,075
3. Displaced individuals: 414,677
4. Deaths: 43
5. Injured: 28
6. Homes fully damaged: 286
7. Homes partially damaged: 3,057
8. Safe locations (camps): 594
9. Families in camps: 61,382
10. Individuals in camps: 306,673

Scope 6_columbo_primary_1200x757_1y
Some sources say around 200,000 have been displaced from Colombo alone.

People are doing a magnificent job of self-organizing via Facebook. Aid efforts are run by the Army, Air Force, Navy, volunteer organizations and even people piling into whatever trucks they have and setting forth.

As far as we know there is no central authority co-ordinating anything, so there are reports of some areas being oversupplied with cooked foods while others are in need of it. Most places request soap, sanitary items, clothes, dry rations and canned goods.

UPDATE: The food need is dropping and disease is setting in. People need soap, antiseptic cream, soframycin, Dettol plasters, Siddhalepa, Samahan, Vitamin C, undergarments for men/women/children, blankets, towels, toothbrushes, toothpaste, pillows, milk powder and ready-to-drink Milo / Nestomalt / Milk.

If you’re looking to volunteer, FloodRelief LKA needs people. 108/10, Wijerama Mw, Colombo 07. Contact: 071 642 9033

Volunteers are in need of transport. If you have a 4×4, get in touch with anyone from this group. Your offer will be picked up on. Or post to the Expats Furniture Group. It’s turned into one of the most helpful communities around.

If you know where help is needed, fill this form. If you need a place to stay, Airbnb has accommodation.

If you’re looking for places to donate to,  the Air Force checkpoints seem like the best bet. They’re airdropping food and supplies to places where vehicles can’t go, which are the hardest hit. Note that every area needs  dry rations, sanitary napkins, clothes, antibiotics, Panadol, soap, bedsheets and water. 

If you read this post within the next hour, we’re taking two pickup trucks to Wattala. Some 700 families are in camps. If you have anything, please bring it to WSO2, Palm Grove, Colombo. It’s on Duplication Road.

Every other place taking donations will be found here in this comprehensive article by YAMU. The comments add even more.

Here is a spreadsheet containing the details of affected areas that need help, a contact person and what they need. It’s the result of the form linked above. Volunteers are using this to co-ordinate efforts. If you have vehicles that can brave the water, reach out to these people.

Here is a document listing how to donate online. If you are outside the country or unable to deliver supplies, these are the best ways. It’s being constantly updated. Note that  Takas has partnered with FloodRelief #LKA and has some really good prices, especially on the water: it looks like that’s a lot more efficient than buying at supermarket prices.

Abans charges about Rs 10,000 to set up mobile toilets in the Wellampitiya area – transport, labour, the works. Contact 0771978738. Lalanka Companies has stuff going for cheap. Contact 0777 342432, 011-4005497, 011-2722486 for these prices:

500ml Water Bottle- LKR 16
01L Water Bottles- LKR 30
5L Water Bottles – LKR 120
Milk Powder 500g – LKR 270
Salmon Tin 450g – LKR 120

^ These prices are around cost and what you should be paying right now for flood relief. As far as I know, Keells offers discounts to those buying for the victims. If prices are above these, you can assume that business is in operation.

As of now there seems to be a lot of cooked food in the system. Derana turned the Dematagoda, Maradana and Colombo Fort train stations  into collection points and people handed over some 500,000 lunch packets. For now it may be more efficient to deliver dry rations that can be contained in waterproof packaging – biscuits, et cetera.

Dialog, Airtel and Mobitel have increased their credit limits by 50%. There’s mobile voice and data congestion on the networks. I don’t know if this is because of infrastructure being affected or the networks being overloaded.

There are messages going around saying the Amabatale water plant is in danger and to stock up on vegetables for the month.

Don’t. As far as we know, the Amabatale plant is fine.The water supply to Colombo is working. There may be fuel shortages (the fuel tanks in Kolonnawa were under). There will probably be a slight food shortage due to relief efforts; supermarkets and wholesalers are running out. DO NOT CONTRIBUTE to the shortage.  Stockpiling vegetables for a month is, quite frankly, stupid.

PickMe, the transport app, has co-ordinated both boat rescue services and collaborated with the Defence Ministry to air-lifting people in critical condition (Eg: pregnant women, children, sick or wounded and the elderly), from the flood affected zones. You can now provide GPS coordinates for people in need and request help via their app.

The Met Department is predicting heavy rainfall on the one clear day and are apparently unable to read CNN to track a storm system. Please double-check their forecasts against foreign media and friends who can look up and see the sky.

The government? Useless. “Apparently” they’re using the Forces to streamline things, but we’re not seeing any activity from our Ministers and Disaster Management Ministries and 255-odd PMs; apparently they’re only good for beating up people in nightclubs and hauling cameras to Independence Square. The Prime Minister had a press conference on ‘weather conditions’. Daily Mirror didn’t report what he said, presumably because nobody gave a shit.

Daham being an opportunistic fucktard
Daham being an opportunistic fucktard

I don’t care. As far as I’m concerned, our people are stepping up the the game like heroes. For a country that’s been squabbling over race, religion, politics and God knows what the fuck else for so long, we’re acting as one people with one mission – to help those in need. And that is fucking awesome. No government can do this or take this from us. I’m proud of my fellow countrymen.

COMMENTS?