Ulsterman Shocked by Sheer Scale of Disaster

The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), January 5, 2005 | Go to article overview

Ulsterman Shocked by Sheer Scale of Disaster


Byline: BY DAVID YOUNG

THE Belfast man leading Concern's relief efforts in Sri Lanka has stressed the importance of developing long term projects to help the affected communities get back on their feet.

Howard Dalzell, who has spent the last few days touring stricken regions on the island's south and east coast, said he had been overwhelmed by the scale of the disaster.

"Travelling along the coast all you can see is physical destruction everywhere; it just goes on for mile after mile after mile," he told the News Letter yesterday.

"I drove for 10 hours a couple of days ago and it was the same - total destruction all the way. Nuclear wreckage everywhere; the enormity of it is difficult to cope with or believe."

Mr Dalzell has been working with Concern's on the ground partners in the south of Sri Lanka, distributing vital daily needs to over 15,000 families left with nothing after the tsunamis. "Even in disasters such as these there are the 'haves' and the 'have nots' and at Concern we try to focus on the people at the bottom end of the pile," said Mr Dalzell.

"Most of them have lost everything: they've no relatives to support them; they've no housing any more or any income."

Setting up food stations and giving out essentials such as clothes and blankets, for the last 10 days, Concern have been addressing the immediate problems facing people in the area. …

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