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Ratnapura flood shelters reduced after speedy action

(UDHAYAM, COLOMBO) – As a result of swift relief operations, the number of flood victim shelters in Ratnapura has decreased steadily.

The most critical need of the victims and Ratnapura City is a clean drinking water supply and this has now been restored. Even the entire array of destroyed water wells has been renovated.

“Lanka Sathosa has issued dry rations and essential items to the value of Rs. 10 million,” said the Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen on Tuesday (13).

Minister Bathiudeen was reviewing the progress of relief work for flood victims in Ratnapura. Ratnapura’s relief and recovery efforts were led by Minister Bathiudeen, who visited the area on an inspection tour on June 03. Minister Bathiudeen was appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena to oversee flood relief work in Ratnapura.

“The latest reports from the Divisional Secretariat show that the total number of families affected in Ratnapura to be 8,984 (36,431 Persons) and total houses damaged in the electorate at 1,930 (1,861 Partly-Damaged),” said Minister Bathiudeen.

“The number of flood victim camps has reduced from nine to five, thus bringing the number of families in camps down to 77 from 121 at the time of the floods. The Industrial Development Board (IDB) under Minister Bathiudeen has identified 264 small and medium industries in Ratnapura as damaged and needing assistance. The estimated cost of this is Rs. 162 million with a loss of livelihoods to 1,000 people. The National Enterprise Development Authority (NEDA) under the Minister identified 1,255 small, medium and micro businesses as damaged and in need of assistance and the costs are being worked out, the Minister revealed.

During the recent floods, Ratnapura City was unprecedentedly inundated and residents reported even surrounding lands were also submerged in 5-8 ft of water in many locations, destroying countless gem mines that the city is famous for and many paddy fields.

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