Disaster Management

Fire in Colombo North

A fire broke out in a shanty settlement - low income houses- in Colombo North which destroyed around 250 units. A large group of poor families lost all their belongings in the fire. The Colombo Fire Brigade assisted by other agencies in the area was able to put off the fire in few hours saving many lives.The fire is believed to have been caused by an electrical short. The little comforts that these people have tried to avail themselves by obtaining electricity seems to have turned out to lead to disastrous situations totally shattering all their livelihoods. The families are housed temporarily in a nearby school and are looked after by the Colombo Municipal Council and other public agencies and non governmental agencies. The council will arrange to shift them to another location to restore school activities and also build permanent and safer dwelling units in their original land.

Tsunami Victims in Colombo

Large numbers of people living in the low elevation coastal zone of Northern part of Colombo have lost their dwellings and all belongings at the recent Tsunami catastrophe. Colombo Municipal Council has arisen to meet the needs of all affected and the dead.

"CITY DEVELOPMENT FUND" of the Colombo Municipal Council has been established to receive donations from well-wishers for welfare and rehabilitation of affected people. [City Development Fund gives tax concessions for Sri Lankan taxpayers]

Contact the Municipal Treasurer : Tel- 094-11-269 1797 for more details.

Assitance Extended to Other Local Authorities by

Colombo Municipal Council to Recover from Tsunami Disaster

Almost all local authorities in the western and southern coastal belt was seriously affected by the recent tsunami disaster. Large amount of debris that resulted from the destruction was a major barrier for the recovery activities that were to follow. As the Colombo Municipal Council possessed considerable personnel and mechanical equipment it was decided to extend such facilities to the other affected areas.

Work was planned to start from Dehiwala and extend up to Beruwala. Further the city was also a main focal point for intervention.

The voluntary participation of all grades of employees, very often at great personal sacrifice, was an aspect which needs special mention. In view of the highly disturbed basic needs of the staff in spite of the great efforts taken by the host local authorities. All grades of staff have risen to the occasion and contributed their maximum in spite of above. The positive spirit of the staff was the main reason for the praise earned by the CMC from the residents and the authorities for having completed the task within a span of two weeks.

Debris clearing, cess pool clearance were primary needs to restore public life in the areas. The equipment such as bulldozers, loaders, trucks, cess pool emptiers owned by the Municipal Engineers Department were pooled, transported and used.

The Municipal Fire Services Department used their pumps to empty and clean the individual and community wells. The high pressure water jets were very useful in cleaning equipment and institutions such as schools.

The Public Health Department was present to chlorinate wells, fog chemicals to avoid mosquito menace and also general disinfection.

Debris clearance in the access roads was the main step towards returning to normalcy in their day to day living. Clearing of the private premises generated more debris to be cleared. Final assessment of debris clearing by CMC stands at over 30000 tons.

Project "CLEAN"

A Project called "CLEAN" was inaugurated on 29th April 2004 by His worship the Mayor of Colombo and the Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy for Sri Lanka. The Project named CLEAN stands for Community Led Environmental Network where active involvement of senior school children are achieved in environmental activities such as Air and Water Quality

Monitoring, Understanding the technology behind it and the gravity of environmental degradation that takes place currently. Further details will be added soon.