It has been estimated that 111,459 families, in the Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Hambantota, Puttalam, Mannar, Vauniya, Moneragala and Ampara District are affected by the drought due to a shortage of water for day to day activities as well as for cultivation. Their daily income too has been curtailed by damages to their crops. The total land cultivation including paddy in the eight districts that are affected by drought has decreased by 42% against 2013.
Therefore the President has obtained the Cabinet approval to implement an accelerated development programme, for which 1300 million rupees has been approved by the Cabinet.
A micro development programme has been initiated to remove silt of reservoirs and tanks and reconstruct 600 agricultural wells under the proposed programme so that the capacity of holding water can be increased. Water will be distributed through 37 bowsers to meet the drinking water needs.
One member from each family will be deployed for the reconstruction of irrigation canal ways and rural access roads on payment basis. They will be given 8 to 12 days work per month for a payment of maximum 6,000 rupees. Excess silt and mud sediment in reservoirs and tanks will be removed and distributed among the rural bricks and tile earthen manufacturers free of charge.
It has b een decided to appoint a Monitoring Committee comprising Secretaries of the related Ministries so that this programme is completed within the drought period.(KH)