The tech you can use to help flood relief efforts


As you all may know, Sri Lanka has been experiencing floods from heavy rainfalls. This remains the case in many parts of the country and efforts are underway to help these people from the tri-forces and other voluntary associations. Although people assumed that things would turn out well with time, the Department of Meteorology says that deep depression could build up a cyclonic storm. This is why we at ReadMe to create this list of numbers and technology you can use to help the flood relief efforts.

Victims of floods caused due to the rising water levels should immediately evacuate to safety. Those services are provided by the Sri Lanka Navy and can be contacted through the hotline 117 or from these emergency numbers:

  • 0112674502-3
  • 0113075792
  • 0113070275
  • 0113818612

You can also contact the Navy HQ at 011 2 445 368.

The tech industry is also doing it’s part in helping relief efforts, especially in getting much-needed supplies to flood affected areas. What supplies are needed at the moment? The list includes:

  • Dry rations (dhal, rice, sugar, tinned fish, and biscuits)
  • baby food items (cereal)
  • baby milk powder
  • Sanitary pads, towels cooking utensils
  • blankets, mats
  • Water bottles
  • Bed sheets
  • Panadol / Paracetamol / Sidhalepa
  • Clothes – Large T-shirts / Sarongs / Skirts
  • Milk Powder / Sugar / Tea

PickMe Flood Relief

PickMe has formed a partnership with EBC Sathkaaraya to launch a Flood Relief service to distribute relief supplies. Just open up your app and slide the vehicle bar below till you see Flood Aid and SOS. If you have supplies that you wish to donate to flood victims, you can use the Flood Aid feature to have PickMe come and collect your supplies, which shall then be donated to flood victims. Furthermore, if you know anyone that needs rescuing, use the SOS feature and PickMe will have a boat sent by the Navy to ensure they are rescued.

PickMe's Flood Relief efforts
PickMe’s Flood Relief efforts

PickMe has also announced that it’s working together with the Defense Ministry, has started Air-lifting people in critical condition (Eg: Pregnant women, children, sick or wounded and the elderly), from thee flood affected zones. In order to commence, they require the GPS coordinates of the people who are in need for evacuation. You can provide the coordinates by placing the ‘i man’ icon in the PickMe app on the exact location and pressing on the ‘Air Lift’ button. If you know anyone in the above condition who needs immediate attention. Please provide PickMe with the required information to ensure that they can be extracted to a safer area.


Uber has also released uberCARE in association with Colombo Municipal Council and the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society. Slide across to the ‘uberCARE’ option in the Uber app tomorrow between 9 am and 4:30 pm and make a request. Then get the items you’d like to donate ready for an Uber to come, collect and drop them off at the Sri Lanka Red Cross office. Do note that this service is free of charge. For more information head on over to Uber’s Newsroom.

uberCARE for flood relief efforts

Takas and Flood Relief #LKA in partnership with Flood Relief ‪#‎LKA has launched this service on their website where you could contribute to these relief efforts. Flood Relief #LKA is an initiative by a collection of Sri Lankan Volunteering Organizations, Youth Clubs and Social Service Organizations that are working hard to help flood victims. To support their relief efforts, click here and you can make donations that would directly help Flood Relief #LKA get much-needed supplies to victims affected by the floods.

The Flood Relief #LKA page on Takas
The Flood Relief #LKA page on Takas

WSO2 Donation Drive

WSO2 is also collecting donations to be distributed at their Palm Grove office. The address is No 20, Palm Grove, Kollupitiya. It’s on Duplication Road, directly opposite the road from Liberty Arcade. Simply walk in and ask the people at the reception to speak to Akhila, Udeshika, Nilmini who are coordinating the initiative. There’s no deadline as such for donations, however, the earlier you can make your donations the easier it is on the team.

The WSO2 Flood Relief donations
The WSO2 team making dropping off the first set of supplies at the Air Force HQ (Image credits: Danesha Unantenne)

NicNac/Erbenlab rescue efforts

The directors of Erbenlab, also the founders of NicNac will be traveling to flood affected areas today. Their aim is to assist rescue efforts and distribute donations of dry rations. To make a donation simply make a request using NicNac and rider will come and collect your donations. In case all of their riders are busy, NicNac has organized a special team that will get back to you and ensure your donations reach the people that need it the most. Furthermore, Erbenlab is also willing to transport doctors,swimmers and volunteers to the affected areas. For more information, you can call 0772-366874.

Airbnb flood relief accommodations

Airbnb has announced that it has waived off all service fees on certain accommodations. There are places available island wide, that are willing to accommodate those affected by the floods at no cost. The only requirement is that you connect with the hosts in charge of these accommodations through Airbnb’s messaging system. You can find the complete list of accommodations here.

Airbnb has free accommodation for flood victims
Airbnb has free accommodation for flood victims

The ReadMe collection point

We at ReadMe have formed a partnership with Without Borders and WSO2. We will be accepting donations throughout the day. If you’re in Rajagiriya, drop by our office and give your donations. We shall ensure that your donations reach both organizations assisting the flood relief efforts. Our social media strategist, Lahiru Perera is the person in charge, however, every member of the team has been briefed and will accept any donations you bring. There’s no deadline for donations but we encourage you to drop by as early as possible. Our address is 200A 1/1, Kamathawatte Road, Meda Welikada Road, Rajagiriya.

Our Flood Relief Management Database

We’ve seen countless people helping out the flood relief efforts. To help co-ordinate the relief efforts and make donations more meaningful we at ReadMe built a central database. We call it the Flood Relief Management Database. The database will tell you what supplies are needed and where you can drop these supplies off. At the same time we are also keeping contact with the camps to identify what they have and what they need. So if you wish to make your donations more meaningful, you can access the database at:

The Flood Relief Management Database
The Flood Relief Management Database

Telcos have increased credit limits

To help everyone stay connected, telecommunication providers have increased their credit limits by 50%. The networks that are offering these increased credit limits are: Dialog, Airtel and Mobitel.

Foodie flood relief

Foodie is working with RedRelief to collect and disperse donations to aid in the Flood crisis. They have a menu which they are constantly updating with the most essential items as the situation unfolds. Foodie can also pickup and deliver food/goods you have already purchased and deliver to either RedRelief or designated distribution centers.

Foodie flood relief
Foodie flood relief

Dialog’s Triple Donations

Dialog has announced that if you make any donations to the flood relief efforts through their services, they will triple your donations. That means if you donate Rs.50 then Dialog will add Rs.100 to your donation. So how can you donate? Well, there’s two ways. The first is by sending an SMS to 7700 which says DON to donate Rs.50 if you have a Dialog mobile. The second way is to donate your star points by dialing#141*1.

Dialog Flood Relief efforts
Dialog Flood Relief efforts (Image credits: Dialog Aixata)

PAYable and Quickee are taking donations

PAYable and Quickee have also formed a partnership and are now accepting monetary donations. The money collected will be donated to the Sri Lanka Red Cross flood relief efforts. All you have to do is either call PAYable on 117776777 or Quickee on 117324325. A Quickee rider will then come to your location to take your donation. Donations can be made either in the form of cash or with your credit/debit card.

PAYable and Quikcee supporting flood relief efforts (Image credits: PAYable)
PAYable and Quikcee supporting flood relief efforts (Image credits: PAYable)

Other ways you can help the flood relief efforts

There is also a database full of details on relief needs, which you can access by clicking here. Additionally, there’s also a form you can fill out which many relief organizations are using to know which areas need help. You can also tweet at @FloodReliefLka for any emergency assistance or inquiries. For official news updates please keep an eye for media broadcastings to stay updated about the situation.

For more information, our friends at Yamu have a list of organizations accepting donations. We will continue to update this article with whatever tech assistance people could use in order to help out those who are in need. Please do donate whatever you can to the relief efforts. There are countless people affected by these floods and any donation, no matter how small will go a long way.

Update 1: 20th May 2016 (10:31 AM)

We have found a few new initiatives and tech that is aimed at assisting flood victims. These efforts include: NicNac accepting donations and assisting rescue efforts, AirBnb offering free accomodation, PickMe’s airlifts and our own partnership with Without Borders. Furthermore, telecommunications have also increased credit limits by 50%. As such, we’ve updated the article.

Update 2: 21st May 2016 (06:41 PM)

Once again, we are seeing the tech industry launch a bunch of new initiatives to help support flood relief efforts. We at ReadMe have built a database to co-ordinate flood relief efforts. Foodie is offering to send food and other necessary items to those in need. PAYable and Quickee have formed a partnership to support the efforts of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society. Dialog has announced that they will triple any donations made on their platforms. Once again, we’ve updated the article.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here