President Maithripala Sirisena has directed relevant authorities to provide maximum relief for the affected people of the Meethotamulla landfill disaster.
The President issued the directive at a meeting held at the Ministry of Disaster Management on finding ways and means to provide relief to the affected people. Discussions were also centred on the program of removing the garbage dump.
The President also instructed relevant authorities to expedite the evacuation and resettlement process of people affected by the disaster. Attention was focused on obtaining three Paddy Marketing Board stores in Meethotamulla for this purpose. President Sirisena ordered to send affected people to these places providing all necessary infrastructure facilities. He also directed the authorities to implement a streamlined program for providing security, household appliances and other items in houses damaged in the disaster.
A proper estimate is to be prepared on properties of the affected people. The President has instructed the Disaster Management Centre to submit a proper report on number of affected families and damaged property. Detailed submissions were made on the Government’s program of providing relief and for the resettlement of the people.
The President said these activities should be implemented in a proper manner pleasing all the affected people without any shortcomings preventing any criticism from the affected people. The President further noted that more attention should be paid to providing security and relief measures for the people living in close proximity to the Meethotamulla landfill. Speedy actions should be taken to remove the garbage dump, people should be evacuated to safer places while the removal of the garbage dump is completing, he said.
The Government will take every possible step to fulfil all relief measures for the people. There will not be shortage of money for the implementation of relief programs, he assured.
Estimation of property belonging to affected people should be carried out in a justifiable manner, the President instructed. Another discussion will be held to review relief measures for the people. He suggested having the discussions every three days reviewing the progress in a three-day period and move forward.
Several Ministers, MPs, commanders of three armed forces, Chief of Police, heads of defence divisions and state officials attended the meeting.
According to a report submitted to the Disaster Management Ministry, 980 people of 228 families have been displaced by the disaster while 79 houses were completely damaged and 17 were partially damaged. The death toll has reached 26 on Sunday and 11 were injured and admitted to hospitals and are receiving treatments. Few families have been provided shelter at a nearby school in Kolonnawa.
Disaster Management Ministry Colombo Secretariat and the Colombo Municipal Council are taking measures to supply cooked food and parcels of relief items to affected people.