On 4 March, the Disaster Management Centre of Sri Lanka reported that 39,801 people were affected by the drought in four districts (Gov't of Sri Lanka, 4 Mar 2020). By 10 March, that number rose to more than 88,500 drought-affected people - an increase of more than 122 per cent - in six districts (Gov't of Sri Lanka, 10 Mar 2020).
As of 20 March, the Disaster Management Centre reported over 90,000 families affected by water stress across 11 Districts. In early March, a total of 71,349 households across 6 districts are being supplied drinking water due to over two and a half months of dry spell. A major water distribution is ongoing in Kalutara and Beruwala DS Divisions in the Kalutara District. (WFP, 20 Mar 2020).
As of 23 March, over 337,000 people across 8 out of 25 Sri Lankan districts are facing a water crisis due to the dry spell and sea water intrusion into surface water, according to Disaster Management Centre. Kalutara, Kegalle and Ratnapura districts are the most affected. The local authorities are addressing the crisis through tankering, installing water purification plant and water tanks in the affected areas. The seasonal climate outlook for March - May, issued by the Department of Meteorology on 4 March, indicates a continuation of the dry spell in March and April but the south-west monsoon, starting in May, is likely to improve the current situation (ECHO, 23 Mar 2020).
As of 05 April, the Disaster Management Centre reported over 182,000 drought-affected people across 11 Districts. (Gov't of Sri Lanka, 6 Apr 2020)