Over 700,000 affected by drought

Monday, 17 September 2018 00:37 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Disaster Management Center says that more than 700,000 people have been affected by the dry weather that has prevailed in 16 districts of the island and the Government has taken several measures to provide relief to them.

The Jaffna District in the North has borne the brunt of the drought with over 370,000 people being affected.

In the East, the Ampara, Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts were also affected by dry weather. The water level at all major reservoirs in the Ampara District has dropped drastically. The water level of the Senanayake Samudraya in Inginiyagala has dropped to 34 feet, the lowest water level recorded since 1976.

Over 50,000 people have been affected by dry weather in the North Central Province, and the dry climate has affected over 19,000 families in six Divisional Secretary Divisions in the Puttalam District.

The Disaster Management Center said measures have been taken to distribute water through bowsers for all affected people.

Meanwhile, chili cultivation in the Hambantota District has been severely damaged due to the dry weather conditions. Chilies have been grown to a large extent in areas such as Weeraketiya, Kasagala and Ranna and between 50 and 60 acres of land on which chili is grown has totally dried out. Farmers are facing severe difficulties due to the drought during the harvest period.

The Government has allocated Rs. 200 million for the construction of wells for cultivation in dry zone areas. Padaviya and Vilachchiya villages have been severely affected due to the drought affecting the Anuradhapura District. Twenty wells will be constructed to meet the water requirements of the people in these areas. Anuradhapura District MP Ishak Rahuman has taken steps to provide the required funds.