Heavy rains in some areas while others face severe drought

Heavy rains in some areas while others face severe drought

Written by Staff Writer

07 Jun, 2019 | 8:59 pm

Colombo (News 1st):  Amidst political mayhem, the adverse weather is also battering the general public. While red notices are issued about heavy rains to certain parts of the island, we took a journey to Jaffna where people are suffering from a 6-month long drought.

While many parts of the island are receiving heavy rains, Northern and Eastern Provinces are experiencing extremely hot weather conditions.

Villagers in the Pitialla village in the Karainagar divisional secretariat area in Jaffna are compelled to use water from just one well. The main livelihood of these people has also at a standstill due to the lack of water.

However, it is not only the Pitialla village that has been battered by the drought. Over 159,000 individuals in the northern province have been affected by the severe drought.

News 1st also inquired into how the prevailing weather condition has affected the agricultural sector of the economy.

When News 1st inquired whether any steps were taken by the Treasury to provide relief to those affected by the drought, a top official from the department said that so far, the drought has not caused an adverse impact, when compared with the drought condition the country faced in 2016.

Speaking to News 1st Pradeep Kodippilli of the Disaster Management Centre stated that water is being provided to those affected by the prevailing weather condition.

Meanwhile, speaking to News 1st, director general of the ministry of agriculture, Dr W.M.W. Weerakoon stated that the delay in monsoon rains has negatively impacted the agriculture sector, and if the prevailing drought continues to prevail, the local agriculture sector may face severe difficulties.

“Due to the delay in monsoon rains and the reduction of nearly 50% of expected rainfall, in terms of corn cultivation, our target was 10,000 hectares, but we only achieved 8,000. If the prevailing dry weather continues, we will face several difficulties. We urge everyone to be vigilant of their cultivation as well, as the dry weather will attract pests.”

According to Central Bank data, during the past decade, the agriculture crops indexes have declined drastically. The index which stood at 118.69 in 2015 dropped to 96.25 in 2017.

Even though the agriculture sector contributes about 6.9% to the national GDP, thousands of jobs are linked to the sector through direct and indirect jobs.

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