A threat of a drought is looming over Anuradhapura district

July 26 (IL) A threat of a drought is looming over Anuradhapura district, with people in some areas having to trek for miles in search of potable water, the Daily Mirror reported today.

The water levels in all the main reservoirs in the district have gone down considerably with the level at Nuwara wewa which supplies potable water to Anuradhapura town going down by six feet and there by the volume of water down to 4,800 acre feet. According to officials of the Water Supply and Drainage Board, if the volume of water in Nuwara wewa goes down another 1,000 acre feet, supply of potable water will have to be suspended.

They also say that as mud is mixed with water lot of money has to be spent to purify the water. Under these circumstances the Malwatu Oya too has been tapped to supply water to Anuradhapura town. All other major reservoirs and small tanks too have recorded a decrease in their levels.

The Anuradhapura district secretariat says that 158,989 families are in distress due to the drought. The areas severely affected by the drought are Galenbindunuwewa, Kahatagasdigiliya, Horawpatana, Kebbitigollawa, Padaviya, Madawachchiya, Rambewa, Mitutanle, Vilachchiya and Tirippave.

Not only wells but even tube wells have dried up in these areas. People are compelled to strain the water before use as it is mixed with mud.

Even cattle and goats are affected by the drought. Wild jumbos which storm villages in search of water, cause a major hassle for the people.

The drought is very severe this time around as sufficient rain was not received last year. The farmers who are badly affected by the drought appeal to the government to grant relief to them without delay