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Sri Lanka : ”Istouti! (Thank You!)” from Flood Emergency beneficiaries

2017.8.14

At the end of July, Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) successfully completed emergency relief project to the communities affected by the flood and landslides in the southwestern part of Sri Lanka.

After we completed the distribution of kitchen sets and bedding sets, PWJ staff visited and talked with beneficiaries in Dodangoda Division of Kalutara District to hear about their experiences from the flood and how they have been doing since then.

“Look, all of these kitchen items inside of this bucket cannot be used at all.” said Mrs. Sarath, a kitchen set recipient in Udawattagoda village.

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After the heavy rain, the river water was rising but it was not fast enough so that large numbers of people were able to evacuate with their valuables, pets and any other things they could take to their safe areas.  However, when people were able to return to their home, the conditions were very bad and most of the household goods left in the house became unable to use. The flood left large amount of mud all over the house, and it took a long time and effort for anyone to clean their houses.

Mrs. Wijeysiri, a mother of 5 family members who received kitchen set told us happily.

”I always use this pot that I received from emergency distribution from PWJ.  To cook rice, boil ingredients of curry, and so on. It’s very easy to use. ”

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23 kitchen items such as a large saucepan which to cook rice, kitchen knives pots, and large spoons necessary for making curry, dishes and spoons for 5 family members, and detergent were included in the kit set.

“Look at it, this knife is so sharp!” it can easily cut like this.” Said a girl in a photo, cutting Cacao fruit to show how sharp the knife is.

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“There are five family members living in this house.  We received two mattresses from PWj and one is used by my bedridden mother. And I am using the second one.  We were sharing a small mattress before so I finally got to sleep well. We run a small kiosk for the past 15 years, but it was heavily damaged by the flood.  We are hoping to reopen soon. Although very slow, but I can see the progress to return to my original life.”

嬉しそうにマットレスを広げるジャスティンさん ジャスティンさん一家とPWJスタッフ

At the end of our visit, we received gratitude from each houses we visited by saying ”Istuti”(Thank you in Sinhala, which is their local language)to us. We were very happy to see how our relief items played a role to help them regain their lifestyles similar to what they had before the flood.

This project is now completed. PWJ would like to thank everyone including Japan Platform and PWJ supporters who supported our emergency relief project in Sri Lanka.