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Some describe the current drought in Sri Lanka as the worst in 50 years, while others say it is just a little out of the ordinary. The entire island has been suffering from the effects of the drought for several months. Yet, as ironic as it may be, the situation abruptly became a national issue in a matter of days. 

Sri Lanka has, for quite some time, experienced disasters. However, this year they appear to have come almost uninterruptedly. Among the bombing of the Bandaranaike International Airport, the ongoing northeast conflict and the continuing political crisis, the failure of the monsoons is leaving hundreds of thousands of families in the south with no food and water. 

The Hambantota district appears to be the hardest hit. But several other districts such as Moneragala, Puttalam, Kurunegala, Ratnapura, Badulla and Ampara are also beginning to feel the grave effects. 

The local media coverage has resulted in a mass influx of relief. Government institutions, private organisations, schools and people are participating in the relief effort by donating mostly water and dry rations. 

Some feel that the situation is being somewhat exaggerated and is not as bad as it is made out to be over the media. However, the fact still remains that the Hambantota district is a purely agricultural area. Months of no rain could easily result in starvation for many families who have no other means of livelihood.

Latest Reservoir Water Levels

   

Overview

Affected Areas
The majority of the Hambantota district in the Southern part of Sri Lanka remains greatly affected by the current drought prevailing over much of the island. [Full Report]

Statistics
In total, approximately 104,682 people are believed to be affected by the drought in the Hambantota district. Four divisions of Lunugamvehera, Tissamaharama, Sooriyawawe and Hambantota are the most severely affected. [Full Report]

Eight resevoirs dry up in Hambantota district 
Hambantota has felt the most severe effects of the drought thus far. The drought has been powerful enough to dry up eight of the major reservoirs in the district. [Full Report] 

Drought-Irrigation

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Lack of water causes grief for drought victims 
Upon entering the Hambantota district along the Sooriyawewa road, sites of ponds of what appears to be decent quality water are abundant. [Full Report]

Water1

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Drought effects are felt islandwide 
Reports of the effects of the drought are emerging from almost every part of the country. So far, Hambantota has taken centre stage in the crisis;  [Full Report]

Drought-other effects

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Relief

Sri Lanka Red Cross offers relief to 1000 families
Seen almost anywhere there is a crisis, the Sri Lanka Red Cross (SLRC) makes its presence in this situation as well. [Full Report]

World Vision focuses on long term solution for drought victims
The dry rations and water are now flooding into the Hambantota district. So much so that by the end of this crisis, there may even be a surplus. Most organisations are focusing on providing immediate relief to the suffering people. [Full Report]

Samurdhi finds long-term solutions to water problems of victims
Some of the relief items being distributed include, rice, sugar, flour, and dhal. But in an area baking in the sun powerful enough to dry up eight reservoirs, what good are any of these food items without water? [Full Report]

Social Service Department aids other affected districts
The Hambantota district still remains the centre of attention after several months of the drought. But every night, as each family across the island sits in darkness for a couple of hours through the power cut, it is obvious that Hambantota is not the only area affected. [Full Report]  

 

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Contact Information: Send mail to gosl@presidentsl.org with questions or comments about this web site.  Last modified: November 28, 2005.