An estimated 520,000 people across eight provinces (Eastern, North Central, North Western, Northern, Sabaragamuwa, Uva, Central and Western) remain affected by drought as of 13 October 2016. The Government has allocated US$140,000 and 159 water trucks to 22 districts. Some 60 schools have been closed due to water shortages, affecting 26,000 children. The Minister for Disaster Management will meet humanitarian partners to discuss the impact and plan their response on 21 October. (OCHA, 17 Oct 2016)
As of 7 November, more than 450,000 people across 17 districts remain affected by drought. A significant reduction compared with 800,000 affected people the week prior. According to the local Meteorological Department, rains are expected in the drought affected areas over the coming 10 days which should ease the drought conditions but also poses a risk of floods. (OCHA, 7 Nov 2016)
As of 17 January, an estimated 644,000 people across eight provinces have been affected by drought and salt water intrusion over the past four months. Batticaloa District in Eastern province is the worst affected with 302,000 people experiencing the effects of drought.
The Government has initiated water trucking in Batticaloa and taken measures to import additional rice in the event the prolonged drought has significant impact on food supplies. The President of Sri Lanka has established a Task Force to coordinate the response. (OCHA, 23 Jan 2017)
Parts of the country received heavy rains in late January, causing floods in some areas. This will temporarily alleviate water shortages for human and animal use in some areas, but the damage done to the Maha crop is irreversible and there is continued concern for the subsequent Yala season due to the still very low water levels in reservoirs (73 major reservoirs stand at only 28% of their capacity). Based on historical trends, the combined production of staple crops foreseen from the two 2017 harvests is expected to result in the worst rice production levels in the last 10 years. (WFP, 31 Jan 2017)
Even if rainfall is received in the early months of the year, Sri Lanka’s agricultural sector is unlikely to make a full recovery in 2017. With much of the poor households concentrated in the rural areas and dependent on agriculture for access to income, and local production representing the bulk of food sources in the country, livelihood opportunities and food insecurity are only likely to worsen among the most vulnerable. (ACAPS, 23 Feb 2017)
As of 3 March, an estimated 1.2 million people are affected by prolonged drought in 16 districts across Sri Lanka’s nine provinces. Kalutara District (Western Province) has the most people affected due to salinisation of the water supply. Harvests due in the coming months are expected to be significantly reduced, exacerbating food insecurity. The Government continues to distribute water in districts with low water supplies and will disburse cash payments to affected families. WASH, food security and nutrition, agricultural livelihoods and cash-for-work programmes have been identified as priority response activities. (OCHA, 6 Mar 2017)
As of 19 March, over one million people are affected by prolonged drought in 17 out of 25 districts of Sri Lanka. According to a joint household assessment, an estimated 900,000 people were identified as in urgent need of food assistance, with 25,000 people severely food insecure. Food, water and sanitation, health and agriculture are urgent priority needs. (OCHA, 20 Mar 2017)
As of 5 April, 900,000 drought-affected people have been classed as severely food insecure, of which 80,000 need immediate support to mitigate the impact of the drought and 25,000 require urgent humanitarian assistance. The loss of two consecutive harvests due to poor rainfall has impacted food security and resilience. As a consequence of the poor Maha harvest, seeds for the Yala season are “seriously compromised.” This, coupled with water shortages, could exacerbate the situation if the Yala harvest is severely impacted as expected. (OCHA, 10 Apr 2017)
Almost 900,000 people in hard-hit areas of Sri Lanka are faced with serious food insecurity and malnutrition due to the country’s worst drought in 40 years. The main harvest (Maha) in March 2017 declined by more than half and the secondary harvest (Yala) in September will also be significantly impacted, bringing hardship and suffering, and increasing indebtedness for poor families.
As of 5 April, 900,000 drought-affected people have been classed as severely food insecure, of which 80,000 need immediate support to mitigate the impact of the drought and 25,000 require urgent humanitarian assistance. The loss of two consecutive harvests due to poor rainfall has impacted food security and resilience. As a consequence of the poor Maha harvest, seeds for the Yala season are “seriously compromised.” This, coupled with water shortages, could exacerbate the situation if the Yala harvest is severely impacted as expected.
The Government of Pakistan donated 10,000 metric tons (MT) rice to assist people who affected by the drought, the inauguration event held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat today (07).
Maj Gen (R) Syed Shakeel Hussain, Pakistan High Commissioner of Sri Lanka offered rice donation symbolically to the President Maithripala Sirisena during the event.
Sri Lanka received 7,800 metric tons of rice in the initial stage of receiving 10,000 metric tons rice from Pakistan.
- The drought ongoing since the beginning of 2016 is seriously affecting 18 districts of the country with shortages of drinking water and impact on agricultural activities. The rice harvest is less than half the normal production. Water levels are at approximately 20% in the main reservoir.
- With limited seed availability, the prospect of yields for the next planting season in April are poor. At present, an estimated 1.2 million people are seriously impacted and there are concerns regarding the deterioration of household food security and nutrition.