Aug 04, Colombo: Over one million people in Sri Lanka have severely been affected by the prolonged drought prevailing in 14 districts of the island, a government minister says.
Minister of Health Maithreepala Sirisena said around 1.15 million people have been affected by the drought in .Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura, Moneragala, Ampara, Hambantota, Puttalam, Trincomalee, Mannar, Vavuniya, Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi districts.
Speaking at a meeting held in Polonnaruwa, the Minister stated residents of these areas are facing severe difficulties in obtaining drinking water.
Minister of Disaster Management Mahinda Amaraweera said the government has allocated Rs. 1.9 billion to provide relief to the people affected by the 10-month long drought in the dry zone.
It has been estimated that 111,459 families, in the Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Hambantota, Puttalam, Mannar, Vavuniya, Moneragala and Ampara District are affected by the drought due to a shortage of water for day to day activities as well as for cultivation.
Therefore the President has obtained the Cabinet approval to implement an accelerated development program, for which Rs 1.3 billion rupees has been approved by the Cabinet, the government said last week.
Under the proposed program it has been proposed to remove silt of reservoirs and tanks and reconstruct 600 agricultural wells to increase the capacity of holding water. Water will be distributed through 37 bowsers to meet the drinking water needs.