Monsoons Threaten Refugee Camps in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, Oct. 6 (UPI) — Monsoons threaten to aggravate the problems of the tens of thousands of civil war displaced people living in cramped camps in Sri Lanka, agencies say.

But the Sri Lankan government, which has kept civilians in the camps since May when its military claimed victory over the Tamil Tiger rebels, says it is taking measures to ensure their welfare, the BBC reported. Only about 10 percent of refugees have been resettled.

U.N. agencies warn the camps in the northern part of the island nation will flood with the onset of the monsoon season and leave the inmates, already living in deplorable conditions, with no clean water.

The report said camp residents experienced a similar situation in August when sudden storms flooded the facilities, submerging toilets and contaminating water.

The government says drainage systems are being installed before monsoons arrive. Residents are not allowed to freely leave the camps.

The government, which has come under severe international criticism for its handling of the refugees, has said it plans to resettle most of the civilians by the end of this year.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Categorized | Nature & Ecosystems, Other, People
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