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GoSL blames UN for Camps floods

August 20, 2009

DailyMirror – Governments blames UN agencies for flooding in IDP camps

The government is blaming UN agencies for the flooding in IDP camps in Vavuniya saying they had taken the responsibility to construct drainage systems and flood preventive measures at the sites.

“The UN agencies involved in the IDP camps had taken the responsibility of constructing the drainage systems and flood preventive measures. So the Government cannot be blamed for the poor condition of the drainage systems which burst and failed,” Minister of Resettlement and Disaster Management, Rizad Bathiudeen told Daily Mirror online.

Heavy rain over the last two days saw flooding at the camps in Vavuniya due to the failure of the drainage system forcing some of the displaced people being shifted to other areas for shelter.

Minister Bathiudeen said that only a limited number of IDP amounting to 400 in Zone 4 were affected by the flood and that as soon as it was reported, under the advice of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Parliamentarian Basil Rajapaksa, immediate steps were taken to assist the IDP’s.

They were straight away provided with the necessary meals, accommodation, and healthcare facilities, the Minister added.

When contacted UNHCR said it was in the process of making a statement over the issue.

Daily Mirror – Govt. washes its hands of IDP sewage

Disaster Management Minister Rishard Bathiudeen said yesterday the break down of the sewage and drainage system at displaced people’s camps due to flooding could not be blamed on the government.

Mr. Bathiudeen said it was the UN agencies, which constructed the drainage system and set up flood preventive measures.

“So how can you blame the Government for the blockage in the drainage systems and the overflow of sewage during the floods,” he said.

Mr. Bathiudeen said only about 400 refugees in ‘Zone 4’ were affected by the flood the matter was attended to no sooner it was reported to the authorities.

He said the refugees were provided with meals, accommodation, and healthcare facilities.

When contacted the UNHCR said it would be making a statement on the situation at the IDP camps.

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