Aug 11, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government is to initiate a five-stage programme to provide relief to the drought affected districts.
The first step is to commence the dredging and desilting of major irrigation reservoirs in order to increase capacity of water held by them.
Cabinet Spokesperson Minister Keheliya Rambukwella says that almost 150 reservoirs have been dredged in the Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Kurunegala districts.
Desilting tanks and reservoirs is only one solution to the farmers' water problem, the Minister has said adding that the President has allocated Rs 3.665 billion for desilting.
The government plans to get the villagers involved in the renovation of minor irrigation schemes in their respective areas for a daily wage paid by the state.
Another step is to provide financial assistance to the relevant District Secretaries of 14 districts to obtain water tanks and water bowsers to provide drinking water facilities to 66,131 affected families.
According to the Minister, among the other measures to be undertaken are to renovate agricultural wells and allocate a sum of Rs 216 million to distribute seed paddy in the drought affected area for the Maha season, the next cultivating season.
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