Drought fury hits Puttalam
BY PANCHAMEE HEWAVISSENTI
The prevailing drought in many parts of the country has forced a large number of people to live under depressive conditions and the situation in Puttalam is no better from the rest of the affected areas.
The drought has hit the Puttalam District with a devastating force with residents hard pressed on several fronts as the water resources have slowly dried up destroying farms, chena cultivations and even inland fishing. Some 95 per cent of the water resources in the Puttalam District have completely dried up as a result of the drought affecting both humans and animals.
There are over 1250 small-scale reservoirs in the Puttalam District and the bulk of them have dried up while the water level has drastically dropped in the two major reservoirs – the Inginimitiya and the Tabbowa Wewa.
The Inginimitiya Reservoir that holds a water volume of acre-feet 58,600 under ordinary conditions has declined to a staggering 7,500 at present.
The Thabbowa Reservoir of which the capacity is an acre feet of 15,800 has dropped to 250 acre-feet.
Puttalam District Secretary N. H. M. Chithrananda told Ceylon Today that approximately 59,000 families or 1,40,000 persons in the Puttalam District have been affected by the drought and the number is steadily on the rise.
As the water in many domestic wells in the district has also dried up the local authorities have initiated the distribution of water to the affected persons.
"We distribute water in 30 bowsers to 38,000 families on a daily basis and this figure is steadily increasing. Although we have adequate transport for this purpose, the issue at hand however is the fast dwindling water resources in the region", Chitrananda said.
Local fishermen engaged in inland fishing told Ceylon Today that a large number of persons engaged in the industry have left the area in search of employment elsewhere.
"The marine life has also dried up owing to the prevailing drought and adding to that the local health authorities have warned against consuming fish that are caught in the reservoirs since the water is contaminated.
"However we have to continue fishing because we need to sustain our families. We have no other option", they said.
According to District Secretary Chitrananda farming including paddy cultivation is currently carried out on a limited basis in areas close to the Rajangana and Nila Bamma Reservoirs for individual consumption and not for commercial purposes.
He added that coconut cultivation has also been badly affected as the tender plants have perished in the scorching heat and the harvest has declined too.
The Puttalam District Secretariat along with the Ministry of Disaster Management has together initiated a programme to bring relief to the affected persons.
Plans are underway to distribute relief aid to the affected persons through the State Sathosa outlets starting from next week, Chitrananda said.
Not only the humans but the animals are also feeling the heat owing to the drought after their traditional water holes have dried and their fodder in the wild has been destroyed.
A large number of animals are known to have died in the Wilpattu Sanctuary as well as in other jungles of the district.
"We need to take care of animals as well. We are planning to set up artificial structures in the jungles and fill them with water along with a cover. This programme is done in collaboration with the Department of Wildlife, and the Army ", Chithrananda said.
Many elders are surprised at the scale of the ongoing drought saying that it is the worst since the early 1970's. "We have experienced similar droughts in 2009, 2012 and 2013 but this is the worst since nearly 100 per cent of the natural water resources have dried up.
This has never been the case on earlier occasions", they told Ceylon Today.
As the domestic wells have dried up desperate people are digging deeper with tube wells in search of ground water while the local authorities make every effort to maintain the water supply to the affected areas. At the end of the day the people in the district are bracing for the worst as they do not expect early rain and this could make their day to day lives even worse.
Proposed crippling countrywide strike TO SAVE ECONOMY, ASSETS, NATURAL RESOURCES– D.J. RAJAKARUNA
- Doha visa waiver for 80 countries Lankan job market under threat 2716
- AG warns against delaying Audit Bill Phobia on surcharge powers 2536
- Report on mayhem at FTZ President’s Office opts to remain silent 2593
- Market enjoys $ 88M NFIs 2544
- Political controversies laid to rest Stock Market makes gains 2548
- Implementation of sticker proposal on Liquor Delay costs Govt Rs 40B 2590
- CBK secretly invited Norway Only two people in Colombo knew when I first met Prabhakaran – Solheim 2559
- Harmony needed for religious freedom – Minister 2989
- CMC property taxes 2996
- Proposed tax on EPF, ETF ICEU seeks urgent meeting with Minister 2999
- Car plunges into river Two dead, three critically injured 3125
- Arson attack on schoolgirl’s house Minister promises new home 2995
- Australian gender advocate in Lanka Broderick to meet business, public leaders 2962
- Fire at Weligama textile store 2974
- Protest planned on Matale A9 Road Compensation demand for lost property 2966
- Rs 128,250,000 spent on survey Samurdhi union demands reimbursement 3059
- NEC to boost economy – President Shot in the arm for agriculture sector 2960
- Driver who killed 13 in Barcelona rampage Spanish police in manhunt 2943
- NLB, DLB back with Finance Ministry 2938
- Govt. has failed says Sampanthan Complains in letter to UNSG 2947
- New LG Draft Bill in Parliament on 24 August 2943
- Travis Sinniah appointed Navy Chief Holder of highest combat medal 3037
- Solution to ethnic issue New Constitution the only way – Mano 2940
- 18-year sentence sought for Lankan Convicted of human smuggling 2945
- SIS man on the mat Nabbed with gold at BIA 2946
- Mixed reaction to ‘bus priority lane’ 2007
- Why jo remained in CA 2060
- Bribery and corruption pervasive malaise in Sri Lanka 3266
- Schoolboy publisher Notching up half a century in business 2960
- Spirits Nether world inhabitants visiting us 2957
- Sri Lanka Vs India 1st ODI Sri Lanka out to change fortunes 1756
- Never Thought I’ll be SL captain – Tharanga 1796
- Anika clinches fifth tennis crown 1752
- ‘Singer Cup’ U-17 Division II Cricket St. Peter’s win by two wickets 1742
- X Pro Academic U-15 team here 1747
- ‘Singer Cup’ U-17 Division II Cricket St. Sebastian meet Thurstan’s in semis today 1746
- Cook and Anderson pile on agony for West Indies 1739
- All Blacks hit highs in 54-34 win over Wallabies 1745
- Sri Lanka lose opening match 1743
- Seven countries compete 2958
- The day JRJ survived an assassination attempt in Parliament Recollection of a miraculous survival! 1925
- People in a dilemma To feed or not to feed starving animals 1910
- Bid to save jumbos from extinction 1916
- Manhandling a lift operator Is the IGP above the Law? 1923
- Political commentary What’s next? Who’s next? 3833
- Students won’t give up till demands met – Lahiru 1587
- Referendum needed to postpone polls – Deshapriya 1652
- Proposed crippling countrywide strike TO SAVE ECONOMY, ASSETS, NATURAL RESOURCES– D.J. RAJAKARUNA 2821
- No taxes on EPF withdrawals– John Seneviratne 3442
- Zero support for Justice Minister within UNP – Ajith P. Perera 3495
- New programme to uplift SMEs soon 1523
- Govt urges CEB, ‘Obey Orders’ 1528
- Banks and insurance companies should collaborate 1527
- Duty waiver will hit BOP, drain forex – Senior Economist 1653
- Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka resigns 1529
- CBSL to resume talks with PayPal & Stripe 1654
- Pan Asian Power acquires Kotmale Oya Power Two 1517
- HNB records Rs 13.4 B in PBT 1515
- Visits to UK rise amid fall in pound 1518
- Mobitel unveils next tech revolution with ‘X Station’ 1532
- A time of gifts Staying on 1561
- Manuka honey:The superbug killer 2500
- A time of gifts Trying to settle down 2267
- Chithral releases his latest song 1566
- Florals: A Fashion Favourite 1561
- Be a lioness not a lamb 1050
- Places to visit in Kandy 1399
- Dhothalu Oya Sandaraja Forest amidst tea estates 1527
- prelate who promoted Buddhist studies in British era 1522
- Principles underlying planetary combinations Understanding and Interpreting their results 1521
- CAUSE OF DEATH- 2 1515
- How to identify 22nd Derkanadhipati 1514
- Shadow planets transit new Houses 1515
- Cinema of Attraction 1779
- The global and local in Hong Kong cinema 1841
- Pakistani Cinema Had Its Own Way of Looking at Partition Too 1528
- Locarno: Sri Lanka’s Sky Entertainers Presents Lineup at Open Doors Lab 1640
- Fitting Social critique 2096
- Collection of critical essays 1515
- Ven. Olande Anada Thero Encountering Buddhism 1512
- De Lanerolle brothers redefined SL music scene 1510
- Knowledge on the go 888
- Anxiety: the 21st century pandemic 1028
- Prawn farming – a delicious destruction 902
- When you hit rock bottom 916
- Electronic waste – a looming threat 889
- The humble roti revamped 892
- A knockout victory 887
- Sharing a bit of Italian history 897
- Magic pills and cute emojis 895
- A decade of victories 889
- Promising and creepy 890
- A choral treat 888