keeps coming, but who gets what?
By Chandani Kirinde
There are more than 800 camps for the tsunami-displaced
right along the southern coast, but questions are being asked whether
the necessary aid is getting to them on an equal basis.
some camps were getting excess food and clothing, many others were
getting the bare minimum with some people being forced to beg on
the roadside even for a packet of rice.
those hardest hit is the fishing community. Even though some have
survived and their homes still intact, they have lost their means
of livelihood, which has also made them as destitute as those families
who have lost their homes and loved ones.
was standing on the Galle Road at Ambalangoda waiting for the relief
vehicles to pass by." We are alive. Our homes are still standing
there but our boats are destroyed. So how can we make a living and
find money to buy our food?" she asks.
we drive along the Galle Road, people were swamping vehicles that
were stopping to give handouts. It was evident that children were
being used by some, as they would attract more sympathy. Amidst
allegations that most of those begging on the road side were not
affected by the tsunamis, there are reports of fights breaking out
among genuine refugees and those posing as refugees.
officials in the area have asked all affected people to register
with them in the camps, which have been put up temporarily. But
many people who are not used to living in camps come there only
to collect whatever rations are being handed out and get back to
their homes or a relatives home to spend the nights.
whose homes are now in ruins too are going back, sifting through
the rubble during the day, and trying to salvage whatever they can.
Some have been provided tents by UN organisations and they have
set up camps on the foundations of what was once their homes.