06/09/2018, 09.14
SRI LANKA
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Sri Lankan students deliver 275 food packages to flood victims

by Melani Manel Perera

The girls study at the Catholic Women's Institute Holy Family Convent School in Bambalapitiya, a district of Colombo. The initiative launched on the occasion of the feast of Mary, at the end of May. First ever aid for inhabitants of the village of Anguluwa.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - The students of a Catholic school in Colombo have delivered 275 packages of food to the victims of last May’s floods. The foodstuffs are the result of an initiative promoted by the female Catholic Institute Holy Family Convent School of Bambalapitiya, which this year for the feast of Mary asked the female students to donate less flower crowns and more food. Sr. Deepa Fernando, director of the institute, told AsiaNews: "Our girls have contributed so generously! I am very happy with the [donations made] by the pupils and their parents ".

The girls, accompanied by some teachers, travelled to the flooded areas. They met the inhabitants of the village of Dummalasooriya Anguluwa and listened to their stories. 15 families live here, where the rains flooded everything: livestock, crops and houses made of wood. Some of them say: "We are grateful to these girls, because so far no one has come to help us. We are the most unfortunate, we have received nothing. We have known that some people living in urban areas have benefited from donations, but we live in a remote area ".

AsiaNews accompanied the students, along with a BBC reporter. The parcels were handed over to representatives of 12 villages in the districts of Kurunegala and Puttalam. Inside the packs, several boxes of dehydrated food, dhal [red lentils, ed], milk powder, flour, tea, noodles [Chinese noodles] and salmon.

The conditions left in the wake of the heavy rains is painful. According to the Center for Disaster Management (DMC), the pre-monsoon rains that struck from May 20 to 26 resulted in the death of at least 24 people, while another 170 thousand live in precarious conditions in 20 districts.

Meanwhile, in addition to the flooding disaster, with water reaching up to knee level, schools in the southern part of Sri Lanka were hit by a wave of flu that caused the death of 13 children. Therefore the Colombo government has decided to close the primary schools and kindergartens, to avoid the spread of the virus. The medical staff advises the most vulnerable categories - minors, pregnant women and the elderly - to pay particular attention.

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