Heavy rains in May 2017 caused the worst flooding in Sri Lanka in the last 25 years. The floods and accompanying landslides killed more than 1,000 people and displaced more than 21,000 from their homes. Initial assessments highlighted the need for access to clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene items and support with cash to resume livelihoods.
In response to the heavy damage to infrastructure and livelihoods, Oxfam Canada intervened in this situation to ensure that children and families had access to clean water as well as the means to rebuild their lives. Their water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) support included providing hygiene kits, setting up water tanks for drinking and hand washing, collecting garbage and increasing hygiene awareness. For families who were able to restore their houses, Oxfam provided disinfection solutions kits to help them clean their homes.
They also provided cash-for-work programs as a way of supporting early livelihood recovery while contributing to reconstruction efforts.