Written by Tharushan Fernando
09 Oct, 2016 | 8:25 pm
While people living in urban areas are yet to experience the severity of the prevailing drought, for hundreds of thousands of rural Sri Lankans, the situation is grave.
Many people are unable to find a drop of water to drink, while farmers are facing a crisis in protecting their crops from the merciless heat. Farmland across the country have been affected by the drought.
People residing in much of rural Sri Lanka are facing four major crises at present.These are continuing forest fires, wild elephant incursions, the chronic shortage of drinking water and the destruction of crops.
Farmers engaged in dry land farming in the Lunugamvehera and Walawa schemes are facing severe difficulties. Numerous cultivations including mung beans and bananas have already been destroyed.
Farmers say that since they have pawned most of what they own to cultivate, the destruction of their crops has flung them from the frying pan into the fire.
Pepper plantations in Welipothayaya, Kalthota, Batugammana, Hapugahakumbura and Meddekanda in Balangoda have been severely affected by the drought.
The main cash crop in Welekumbura, Mawela, Hatharabage, Oluganthota, Vijiratkumbura and Pillakumbura is tea. Tea bushes in these areas have also lost their lustre in the burning heat.
Villagers in Batugammana, Hapugahakumbura and Thotupalathenna, who cultivate tea bushes, can only look on in despair as the heatwave claims their hard work.
Vegetable crops in several villages in the Palagala Administrative Division in Kekirawa, have been harmed by the drought.
Chillies, Okra, Tomato, Cabbage, Knol khol, Cucumber and Capsicum cultivations have been decimated due to the lack of water and farmers have abandoned these crops.
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