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Salvation Army in Sri Lanka assists waste dump disaster victims

Salvation Army in Sri Lanka assists waste dump disaster victims

Salvation Army in Sri Lanka assists waste dump disaster victims

21 April 2017

The Salvation Army in Sri Lanka is working alongside others to assist those who lost their homes when a waste dump collapsed.

By MAJOR PETER McGUIGAN

The Salvation Army in Colombo, Sri Lanka, is working alongside government and humanitarian agencies to support people who lost their homes when a 90m waste dump collapsed, engulfing more than 100 houses.

At least 29 people were killed in the disaster, which happened on Good Friday – also, by rare occurrence, the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. Another 30 people are still missing.

The Salvation Army has provided meals for around 550 people. More than 1000 people whose homes were either destroyed or weakened are being housed in local schools and with family and friends. Government emergency workers continue to clear the disaster site, and a spokesperson said the dump would be relocated.

Major P Ranjith Senaratne, leader of The Salvation Army’s Western Division, said the tragedy would impact people’s lives for years. “Many people are in shock,” he explained. “Salvation Army officers have been on hand to talk with victims as well as provide for their immediate needs. Some have lost loved ones and many have lost their homes and need our support, both now and into the future.”

Alongside other organisations and government agencies, The Salvation Army will work towards the provision of a longer-term solution to the problems created by the dump’s collapse.

 

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