How could you not help?

In the Lion Brewery in the Sri Lankan capital Columbo, the production of beer has stopped and the plant has been bottling drinking water to be shipped to the affected areas and distributed by Oxfam. Bottled water is important because water tanks cannot be delivered to some areas because bridges have been destroyed.

The workers with truck for delivering aid, holding a banner that says “emergency help”. Credit: Oxfam
lion brewery bottling water. Credit: Oxfam

With so much loss of life, how could you not help?” so said, Nausha Raheem, Manager of Lion Brewery, in the Sri Lankan capital Columbo, as she supervised the loading of a beer truck full of crates of water. Since Monday, the day after the Tsunami swamped the Sri Lankan coastline, the production of beer has stopped and the plant has been bottling drinking water to be shipped to the affected areas and distributed by Oxfam.

“Once we got over the initial shock and realised the gravity of the situation we decided to do what we could to help. It has been a bit of a logistical effort and has involved all of our staff, but it is desparately needed.”

Having flushed out the systems in the modern brewery, to ensure no beer residues were left, the plant has now bottled 120,000 bottles for shipment north, south and east. Oxfam will help distribute the clean water and they recover them from central points to return them to the brewery for refilling.

Oxfam Country Representative, Phil Esmonde, commented: Clean water is the greatest need in the disaster hit areas. Without it the risk of disease becomes acute. Oxfam is providing water tanks, however in some areas we can’t get equipment in because bridges have been destroyed. In those areas bottled water is particularly useful to ensure people have a clean water supply. The Lion Brewery’s efforts are just one example of how local people and businesses are pulling together to respond to this crisis.”