The residents of the Manik Farm camp of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) wait for the arrival of the United Nations Secretary-General. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.
While browsing through some of the Sri Lankan blogs on Kottu - the premier Sri Lankan blog aggregator - a post on W3Lanka caught my eye.
The blog post talks of the lack of sanitary facilities in camps for the displaced.
According to UN figures, there are around 3150 toilets in refugee camps in Vavuniya. These are for for at least 277,000 people. There are conflicting estimates of refugees and we think 277,000 is a very moderate number. That means there is one toilet per each 88 persons. In case most of the people are used to empty their bowels in the morning and if one person takes three minutes in toilet, the queue will take four and half hours. The whole morning in the toilet queue. If there is not adequate water to clean these makeshift toilets, imagine what stench will they emanate? There are people who do not care much about cleanliness. But the camp inmates have to live with them.
If any of the Rajapakses or Samarasinghes read this they should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.
If you consider the 18th of May as the end of hostilities, it's been almost a month since then. Sri Lanka has yet struggled to provide these people with what should be a fairly inexpensive necessity.
It would cost the government a fraction of what it spent on celebrations and decorations recently.
The website of the official Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights is located here. Please contact them and either let them know of this post or let them know that it is unacceptable that approx. 88 people have to share a toilet.
Over to you Mr. Mahinda Samarasinghe, the Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights.