Govt authorities ready to face drought | Sunday Observer

Govt authorities ready to face drought

15 January, 2017

 All government departments and authorities are now lacing up to face the effects of the drought in the coming months as it was reported yesterday that drinking water will only be available for two more months if the prevailing conditions continue. According to the Disaster Management spokesperson,

Pradeep Kodippili, all relevant authorities are being kept on alert.

“We are bracing for a drought situation in the coming weeks. Irrigation, Mahaweli Development, Power and Water Supply and other related ministries have been put on alert as well as District Secretariats.

“If the rains fail in the coming days, there will be a disaster situation within the next two weeks. The government is bracing for any eventuality,” he told the Sunday Observer.

According to the statistics of the Disaster Management Centre, so far, between 13 to 15 districts in Central, Southern, North and East are under a dry spell.

In Kalutara, already there are drinking water issues due to water salination and unofficial water cuts have been reported in Kurunegala. President Sirisena has instructed the relevant officials to obtain the assistance of the tri-forces to face the demanding times ahead. When we contacted the Air Force spokesperson on its readiness to face the situation, Group Captain Chandima Alwis said that they are ready to serve whenever the need arises.

“We are always on standby. We have not been informed of a disaster situation as it has not reached disaster level yet. If a need arises, the regional offices of the Disaster Management Authority will reach out to us and we will assist anyone anywhere at short notice,” he said.

“Our main task would be to airlift relief items. With regard to paucity of drinking water we may have more specific instructions by next week,” Group Captain Alwis said.

Meanwhile Defence Ministry Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi said that the Ministry is ready to provide any assistance whenever it is necessary.

“So far we have kept all our resources available to be ready on call and the Forces are also kept alert,” he said.

Yesterday the Water Supply and Drainage Board made the public aware of a shortage of water and called on them to use water sparingly.