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)
Typhoon Haima struck the northern Philippines on 19 October. As of 28 October, nearly 31,000 people remained displaced in Region III and Cordillera Administrative Region as a result of Typhoon Haima (4,000 people are in 20 evacuation centres and 27,000 are hosted by relatives and friends). Around 192,000 houses have been damaged, mostly in Cagayan and Isabela provinces. The Government, local and international NGOs are providing assistance to the affected communities.
31,000 people displaced
As the country cycles between drought and floods, managing water better is crucial, experts say
By Amantha Perera
MAHASENPURA, Sri Lanka, Oct 18 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - In this village in southern Sri Lanka's Hambantota District, water sales are big business.
Beset by a prolonged dry spell and day-time temperatures reaching above 36 degrees Celsius (97 degrees Farenheit), the village has seen all of its wells run dry.
Read more on Thomson Reuters Foundation.
18 October 2016, Colombo – The Resident Coordinator of the UN in Sri Lanka and the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme, Ms. Una McCauley, today officially announced to the President of Sri Lanka, H.E. Maithripala Sirisena, the commencement of the new USD 38.1 million project under the Green Climate Fund.
Sri Lanka is literally baking these days.
During the first week of October, the Metrological Department reported that maximum daytime temperatures in some parts of the country were between 5 to 2C above average. They hit 38.3C in some parts of the North Central Province, a region vital for the staple rice harvest.
Sri Lanka Army has taken the initiative to supply drinking water to drought hit areas of Welikanda, Dimbulagala, Lankapura, Thamankaduwa, Medirigiriya and Hingurakgoda areas in the East.
This was commenced on 21st September with a view to bring relief to drought affected communities in the region. Dry weather conditions during the past few months have resulted in a shortage of water with dwindling water levels in reservoirs and irrigation tanks in many parts of the country.
Nearly 208,000 persons from 51, 561 families in several districts have been affected by the prevailing drought.
According to the Disaster Management Center sources, 69,678 people in Eastern Province, 8,600 people in Northern Province, 8,422 people in North Western Province, over 10, 000 people in Sabaragamuwa Province, and 110, 350 people from 23,000 families in North Central Province are facing a water shortage due to the drought.
A severe drought situation is reported in Ampara, Polonnaruwa, Trincomalee, Hambantota, and Monaragala Districts causing a water shortage for public use.
Considering the situation, the Ministry of Disaster Management has taken steps to supply the required water for these areas through temporary tanks.
A 24-hour hotline, ‘117’ has been introduced for those areas to inform problems related to the water shortage, said the Assistant Director of the Disaster Management Center Pradeep Kodippili.