What used to be one of the world’s largest internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps, Menik Farm in northern Sri Lanka where ShelterBox delivered tents to three years ago, is to close at the end of September, according to government officials.
The 30-year civil war between the Sri Lankan Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was coming to a head in April 2009 with over 150,000 IDPs seeking refuge in the Vavuniya area in the Northern Province.
Every day more displaced families were reaching camps established by several other aid organisations already in country and the need for emergency shelter was ongoing.
Consequently, the Government of Sri Lanka asked ShelterBox to work with aid agency Habitat for Humanity (HFH) to help fill this void.
‘We worked at Menik Farm where we set up tents for particularly vulnerable families like those with disabled or young children, pregnant women, injured persons or elderly,’ said ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) member Mike Greenslade (AU), who worked with David Webber (UK), John Mackie (US) and John Cordell (US) to distribute a total of 448 boxes. “David and I did the ground work but the 2 Johns did all the hard work, sleeping in a derelict building, living off ration packs, cycling through military checkpoints to get to and from the camp and working long hour in extreme heat to get the tents up. My hat goes off them for a sterling effort” added Mike
ShelterBox was able to respond quickly to the Government’s request by sending boxes that were prepositioned in Dubai and Singapore, cutting travelling time down dramatically.
Below is a slideshow of some of Mike’s images shot on his second visit.
Read more here: SRI LANKA