The Meeriyabedda-Koslanda landslide of October 2014 drew national attention both for the massive destruction it caused and for the gaps it exposed in Sri Lanka’s disaster response mechanisms.
The subsequent resettlement efforts and updating of relief and response protocols have been hailed by the government as comprehensive and effective. More than three years after the disaster took place, the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) spoke with government officials, relief officers and affected families who have been resettled in Makaldeniya during a visit to the Badulla district. Their experiences highlight the attempts to improve the system, but also expose the challenges that remain.
A new report published by CPA highlights the current ad-hoc nature of reparations and stresses the need for a comprehensive response mechanism. This should incorporate victim concerns and also streamline the activities of the relevant authorities for faster action in an emergency. Until such a system comes into place and is fully implemented, victims of disasters – natural or man-made – will continue to face more hardship in the aftermath.
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