Worst dry spell in decades affects more than 650,000 people in Sri Lanka

Tuesday, 14 January 2017

692,477 people (173.325 families) in eighteen districts of Sri Lanka are currently affected by a drought.

Paddy cultivation in the Maha (Major) 2016 cultivation has been seriously affected by the drought and a significantly lower harvest is indicated for March/April 2017. By the end of November, only 281,910 hectares of paddy land out of 804,830 hectares has been cultivated, amounting to 35%. It is the lowest level of cultivation experienced in Sri Lanka, reported during the past thirty years. 337 drinking water schemes under the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB), the main sources of drinking water, are functioning with some limitations. Extended periods of dry weather have impacted the access to basic drinking water and have increased possibilities of salinity incursion to water sources. World Vision, along with other organisations, is jointly conducting an assessment in their focus areas to identify the dire needs and discuss potential cash based programming.


Government’s Response

A task force has been formed by the Ministry of Disaster Management to oversee the management of the response activities. The government has taken immediate initiatives to supply drinking water using water bowsers where needed. The release water from reservoirs and tanks for agricultural purpose has been stopped to provide drinking water. Measures are being taken to import 250,000 metric tons of rice to offset the possible food shortage foreseen as a result of the prevailing weather conditions. The Sri Lanka Armed forces is on standby to support where needed.


World Vision ADPs and ARPs affected

The 11 Area Development Programmes (ADPs) and 2 Area Rehabilitation Programmes (ARP) affected by the drought include Chavakachcheri ADP (WVUS), Changkanai ADP (WV Canada) Trinco South ADP (WVUS), Muthoor ADP (WV Canada), Kilinochchi ADP (WV Australia), Mannar (WV Australia), Nawagathegama (WV Canada), Mundalama ADP (WV US), Giribawa (WV Hong Kong), Kilinochchi ARP (WV Australia) and Mullaithivu ARP (WV Hong Kong).


World Vision Sri Lanka Response

World Vision Lanka has been nominated by the HCT (Humanitarian Country Team) to lead the WASH coordination amongst the INGOS on the prevailing drought condition whereas FAO coordinates the Food sector. Also World Vision, together with Save the Children, Oxfam, Handicap International and Acted, jointly conducted an assessment in their focus areas to identify the dire needs and discuss potential cash based programming. World Vision is prepositioning water bowsers in potential areas, so that the assets can be deployed as per the need.


Please contact:

Urmila Selvanayagam

Manager - Humanitarian Emergency Affairs

World Vision Lanka

Email: urmila_selvanayagam@wvi.org

Mobile: +94-11-2691233


Hasanthi Jayamaha Manager Communications

World Vision Lanka

Email: hasanthi_jayamaha@wvi.org

Mobile: +94- 773290042