Thursday 6 January 2005
From: Tom Armstrong
Received by: Email.
These pictures are from our recent delivery of aid to refugee camps in Akkaraipattu, Ampara District. This region suffered the greatest human loss in Sri Lanka, with over 10,000 people killed.
Almost 500 died in Akkaraipattu alone. Father Emanuel, from the Catholic Church, showed us the mass graves where they themselves had buried 159 bodies. The sea water has still not receded from large areas of paddy fields around the town. Recent heavy rainfall has left roads flooded and made access to the area difficult.
The situation at the camps is desperate with up to sixty people living in each classroom and some people having to sleep outside. The camps in Akkraipattu are in particular need of mats, mosquito nets, flip-flops and clothes.
The trip reinforced the scale of the task at hand. Important questions remain. A constant supply of aid must continue until people are in a position to leave the camps and build new lives for themselves.
We supplied aid to three camps in the area, all housed inside government school buildings. The following items were donated to the 5,000 people living there: