5000 dried-up tanks island wide
Aug 6, 2012
As many as 5000 tanks in the country had completely dried up due to the current dry spell, The Ministry of Agrarian Services and Wildlife said yesterday.

A spokesman from the ministry said the water level of major tanks such as Parakarama Samudraya in Polonnaruwa, Kalawewa in Anurdhapura had dropped drastically.

Ministry sources said such tanks were being de-silted now. In addition it had been decided to dig agro wells for the farmers to carry out their cultivations. Sources claimed that a few farmers had been successful in saving their crops with the help of Agro wells.

It had been also decided to provide those farmers who already had agro wells Rs 10,000 each to re construct their wells.

It was reported approximately 20,000 acres of paddy land had been destroyed because of the drought. Disaster Management Centre Polonnaruwa District coordinator P.K.U.S.K. Nanayakkara said 8400 acres of paddy had been destroyed in the district.

Disaster Management Centre authorities in Anurdapura also said a large number of paddy cultivations had been destroyed.

According to the Ministry of Disaster Management, more than 20,000 farmers had been affected. The Treasury had allocated Rs. 3,765 million to give relief. The number of farmers in need of state relief was increasing as the conditions were worsening.

The Disaster Management Centre said there had been four forest fires in several areas in the country. Therefore, forest fires were reported from Walimada in the Badulla District. Ibulpa in The Ratnapura District, Kamburupiyaya in Matara District and from Walapana in Nuwara Eliya Distirct. The fire in the Nuwara Eliya District was reported to be spreading towards Boralanda area by last afternoon. Disaster Management Centre said 300 army personnel had been deployed to douse this fire. Disaster Management Center however did not rule out sabotage but said even a cigarette butt could have easily caused them as the forests have dried up because of the drought.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka