ASIA/SRI LANKA - 80,000 people affected by the worst drought in 40 years

Thursday, 9 March 2017 natural catastrophe  

Dhammika Heenpella

Colombo (Agenzia Fides) - About one million people urgently need food aid and tens of thousands need urgent life-saving aid due to the drought that is severely hitting Sri Lanka. The alarm emerges from a statement of the Government and the United Nations.
In the last year, the Country is facing the worst drought in decades. In a recent report, the Disaster Management Center referred to one million and 200 thousand people affected by the drought. About 900,000 are in urgent need of food, of these, about 80,000 require urgent life-saving aid. The drought is affecting 23 of the 25 districts of the Country, in all nine provinces. Estimates talk of a third of the population that encounter difficulty in obtaining drinking water. The government has started to distribute water to 180 thousand families since 2 March. Rains are expected in late March or early April, followed by monsoons. However, this does not alleviate the problems of farmers who have lost their crops. According to estimates, only 10% of farmers affected by the drought have produced seeds for the next rice harvest season. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 09/03/2017)