UN support for Sri Lanka to purify water after floods

ECONOMYNEXT – The United Nations said it was providing Sri Lanka with water purification tablets and chlorine to clean wells and homes contaminated by the worst floods in the island in 25 years as concerns arose over the spread of diseases.

“In flood-affected locations in urban areas, such as Colombo, water and sanitation infrastructure has been overwhelmed,” the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, said.

“Human and animal waste is being deposited in the standing water causing concern for immediate and longer-term health problems,” it said in a report on the latest situation.

The OCHA Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific works in collaboration with humanitarian partners to help with relief efforts.

It said the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) has provided support to the Ministry of Health with supplies of 500,000 water purification tablets to ensure safe drinking water, and 12.5 tons of chlorine to disinfect contaminated wells and homes.

“UNICEF is working closely with the National Water Supply and Drainage Board to procure 80 water tanks of 1,000 litres and 20 pumps, which will be distributed in the next few days based on the needs of the affected districts.”

The report said many wells and other sources of drinking water have been damaged or destroyed, and populations require access to sources of clean, safe water as well as sanitation facilities.
(COLOMBO, May 23 2016)
 

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