Acta Scientific Neurology (ASNE) (ISSN: 2582-1121)

Case Study Volume 4 Issue 10

The Covid 19 Pandemic and the Urban Vulnerable Communities: A Case Study of Coastal Underserved Dwellers of Jaffna Municipality, Sri Lanka

Cavitha Balachandran1 and TMSPK Thennakoon2*

1Lecturer, Department of Geography, University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka
2Professor, Department of Geography, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka

*Corresponding Author: TMSPK Thennakoon, Professor, Department of Geography, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka.

Received: August 18, 2021; Published: September 21, 2021


  Environmental, socio-economical, cultural, psychological and political factors determine the deprivation of the community for the exposure to disasters and capacity to overcoming the hazard. Urban poor is considered more vulnerable due to their exposure to high risks easily and limited capacity to risk management. The vulnerability level of underserved dwellers of Jaffna Municipality to the COVID-19 pandemic is assessed based on the criteria of population density; economic status; house type; access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH); land use; road density; and public gathering places. Primary data was gathered through six months field observation from October to December 2020 and April to June 2021, questionnaire survey with 278 dwellers of underserved communities who has been selected based on simple random sampling method and focus group discussion with community based organization members, health care workers, development officers while secondary data was obtained from the statistical handbook of Jaffna Divisional Secretariat Division and required base shape files were gained from the Survey Department of Sri Lanka . Multi criteria analysis was used to identify the underserved areas which are easily exposed to COVID 19 pandemic based on the criteria of population density; economic status; house type; access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH); land use; road density; and public gathering places. Descriptive statistical methods and the SPSS statistical software were used to analyze the data collected through questionnaire survey while Arc GIS 10.4 mapping software was applied in preparing maps. Findings of the study identified risk areas, and revealed that the divisions with high population density, low economic status, high dense built-up land, high number of impoverished settlements, high road density and high number of population of poor accessibility to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) practices and high number of public gathering places are considered having high risk for COVID 19 with lower capacity to manage the risk. In overall, Reclamation East and Reclamation West division were identified as very high risk area; Navanthurai North, Navanthurai South and Gurunagar West divisions are having high risk; Passaiyoor East, Passaiyoor West, Gurunagar East and Fort divisions are having moderate risk; whereas Nedunkulam, Columbuthurai East, Thirunagar and Small bazar having low risk and Koddady division has very low risk for the COVID 19 pandemic. The research is expected to be useful for the health authorities, developers, urban planners, and policy makers, academics to carry out their surveillance programmes, vaccination programmes, and livelihood development activities on the priority basis to control the transmission of disease and minimize the vulnerability level.

Keywords: Pandemic; Transmission; Vulnerability; Risk Management; Livelihood Development


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Citation: Cavitha Balachandran and TMSPK Thennakoon. “The Covid 19 Pandemic and the Urban Vulnerable Communities: A Case Study of Coastal Underserved Dwellers of Jaffna Municipality, Sri Lanka”. Acta Scientific Neurology 4.10 (2021): 16-31.


Copyright: © 2021 Cavitha Balachandran and TMSPK Thennakoon. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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