Reports received by Groundviews this evening indicate that torrential rains in Vavuniya throughout the day have severely affected IDPs interned in Menik Camp, particularly in Zone 3 and Zone 4. Other unconfirmed reports put the number of those affected by the rains at 15,000 at the time of writing.
As early as May this year, serious concerns of possible flooding due to poor drainage in Zone 4 of Menik Camp were clearly voiced by humanitarian agencies. There concerns were flagged again in the UN OCHA update on 31 July 2009, availableÂ here.
Salient tweets until now from Vidura are reproduced below and flag the farcical and extremely dire circumstances on the ground in Menik Camp:
- the side cladding in some toilets have been removed and made flooring in some sheds….so going to toilet in some blocks is going to be a problem
- how to get food tomorrow….as the rations are mostly affected, and no way to get any dry firewood
- No more rains…in the night…
- Agencies and aid workers all had to leave the camps…..
- Guarded with more troops so that they don’t escape from the misery….
- As the people are left to suffer soggy floor, wet clothes, no food and fear of another rain in the night…..
- people need mammoty, shovels, back hoes, food, shelters, blankets
- Some people have been moved to some huts within the zone that were not occupied. SOS huts
- people in zone 4 who could not cook today due to rain are cursing the move to individual cooking
- Again makes me wonder what are we if we are leaving 260000 civilians suffer like this?
- Zone 4 and 3 are particularly affected
- the muddy roads are in a mess and are becoming impassable for water browsers
- Some toilet pits are overflowing, some have collapsed.
- Menik farm is flooding after rains today. IDPs are suffering.
With more rain forecast, these horrific conditions of internment for IDPs will get worse.
Is this really the best we can do? Is this peace?
If you are on the ground in Vavuniya, or have access to new information on the flooding, please leave updates in the comments section.
Update, 15 August 2009, 8.22pm: For first images of the flooding in Menik Camp, click here.