The flood of 26th May, 2017 was one of the most devastating of its kind in Sri Lankan history, was brought on by the Southwestern monsoon that accompanied massive downpour measuring more than 500 million being the highest in some areas. According to the disaster management centre, heavy rain causing flood and earth slides inundated areas of Southern Sri Lanka has reportedly killed more than 183 people, 104 people still listed missing, 112,000 people are displaced and almost half a million people are affected. Also said these numbers could be much higher than the reports since authorities are unable to reach some of the areas due to heavy floods and mudslides.
Mr. B. L. Chandrasena, the former President of Thihagoda Disabled People’s Organisation is an owner of a cycle repair workshop. He is a wheelchair user and the bread-winner of the family. Being an active disability advocate and an entrepreneur Mr. Chandrasena was a very good contributor to the Southern Province Action Committee for Disability Inclusive Economic Development (SPACDIED).
When his village went under water in the night of the 26th of May 2017, his workshop and the house were flooded. With the support from his neighbours, he managed to move to a relatives’ house at a higher elevation. They were stuck there with no food or water for several days, having no boats to transport the relief workers. Due to crocodile-threats, they couldn’t use conventional water rafts as well.
Navajeevana volunteers, and community – based rehabilitation staff work together with the divisional secretariats of Katuwana, Walasmulla, Okewela, Weeraketiya, Thihagoda, Kirinda, Hakmana, Dickwella and Devundara. They co-ordinate with the government authorities and gather updated statistics and information for individual need assessment to avoid duplication of resources. The service provision will include the needs like food, safe water, cloths and shelter as immediate measures to address the situation and thereafter in discussion with the community and other stakeholders a plan will be developed to complete intermediate and long term needs.
Phase 1: Emergency Response: To ensure immediate needs of the members of 5118 families including persons with disability affected by floods in the Navajeevana project area of Hambantota and Matara districts of southern Sri Lanka are addressed [Two weeks of trial period extending up to approximately 6 months]
Phase 2: Rehabilitation assistance towards rebuilding lives: To ensure persons affected by floods including persons with disability in the Navajeevana project area have access to rehabilitation interventions in sectors of Health (including psychosocial assistance, physiotherapy, speech therapy, prosthetic and orthotic services, and audio-logical services), construction and livelihood development by the end of 2021.
Navajeevana’s capacity: Navajeevana has been at the forefront in responding to the devastating tsunami of 2004. Navajeevana holds the experience of emergency response to humanitarian crisis caused by natural disaster and also ensuring to assist communities return to normalcy over the course of time. Therefore Navajeevana has the experience to assess the situation as we respond and to also determine the medium term restitution required for the affected communities and also where applicable longer term rehabilitation and restoration of livelihood, education and quality of life of persons affected by natural disasters.
Partnerships: We are working with local administrative governments through the District Secretariats of Matara and Hambantota, and the respective Divisional Secretariat Divisions of Dickwella, , Hakmana, Thihagoda, Kirinda, Walasmulla, Katuwana, Okewela and Weeraketiya. Further, we will be coordinating with other International and local organizations present on the ground (though the actors are minimal at this point except for locally mobilized responses) and the military to ensure that relief is reached to those in most needed and cut off areas.
 Nine DS divisions in Matara & Hambantota districts, i.e. Dickwella, Dondra, Hakmana, Thihagoda, Kirinda, Katuwana, Walasmulla, Okewala and Weeraketiya