In response to the severe flooding brought on by monsoonal rains in southwestern parts of Sri Lanka, John Keells Foundation (JKF), the corporate social responsibility entity of the John Keells group, provided funding and coordination support.
This was done together with the group businesses, which also mobilized their staff and other resources towards the provision of immediate relief to the affected communities.
The group company Tea Smallholder Factories PLC (TSF) assisted the affected communities in proximity to their factories through the distribution of dry rations and cooked food among affected persons in Neluwa, Hingalgoda, Karawita, Kurupanawa and Halwitigala while the displaced staff in Kurupanawa were provided temporary shelter at the factory premises.
JayKay Marketing Services, which operates the group’s supermarket chain, supplied dry rations, medicines, bed sheets, pillows and sleeping mats over Rs.1 million to an estimated 1,000 persons affected in Ratnapura, whilst collection points were set up at each Keells Super outlet for the public to donate dry rations and sanitary items with contributions being matched on a ‘1-to-1’ basis.
Through these collections, Keells Super has collected over 300 dry ration packs from customers, valued at approximately Rs.1 million and have matched these contributions with an additional Rs.1 million worth of dry rations. An estimated 600 families from Atthudawa West and Atthudawa East in the Matara District were provided dry ration packs.
Ceylon Cold Stores responded to the immediate needs of persons in Hambantota and Matara by distributing over 9,000 water bottles to the affected persons, whilst lunch packets were given to the persons affected in Ranala and Batewala.
Meanwhile, Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts donated linen including bed sheets, pillows and towels, totalling over 4,400 items to the affected persons in Kalutara, Kurupanawa, Hingalgoda and Nagoda.
Cinnamon Lodge also supported the affected persons in Ehaliyagoda through a monetary contribution for each household and 2,000 bottles of drinking water and linen to 100 families that were displaced during the floods. Union Assurance encouraged its branch staff islandwide to volunteer for relief efforts by providing them two days’ paid leave while the staff too donated dry rations to the affected persons in Matara.
Towards supporting the resettlement of displaced persons, JKF has undertaken a well cleaning initiative in the Galle and Kalutara Districts in collaboration with Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) and the group businesses in the affected areas. Since the initiation of the well cleaning programme on June 2, 780 wells were cleaned in the Galle and Kalutara Districts as at June 14, benefitting a total of 7,479 persons.
JKF is also working with SLRCS towards facilitating the provision of school requirements including books, stationery items and school bags for the flood-affected schoolchildren. JKF will continue to assess the needs of the affected persons and provide the necessary relief, especially targeting the resettlement of persons.