Sri Lanka is currently facing a dire drought crisis, with widespread water scarcity impacting over 171,000 individuals across various provinces. The shortage of water has emerged as a pressing concern in provinces such as Northern, North Western, Eastern, Uva, and Sabaragamuwa, leaving approximately 171,000 people grappling with a scarcity of drinking water.
Among the severely affected areas, the government’s focus is on Northern, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Ampara, Kurunegala, Jaffna, and Hambantota districts. The effects of the drought are acutely felt in these regions, where people are experiencing significant distress due to the lack of access to drinking water. In Ratnapura, for instance, around 14,116 people are directly affected, while Trincomalee and Batticaloa have reported 7,737 and 29,508 affected individuals respectively. Ampara and Kurunegala are also facing challenges, with 25,891 and 9,828 people respectively experiencing the impact of the water scarcity. The city of Jaffna has been hit the hardest, with a staggering 70,238 residents facing the consequences of the drought. Even Hambantota, with a population of 6,350, is not exempt from the crisis.
The Sri Lankan government has taken proactive steps to alleviate the situation by providing drinking water to the affected communities. Recognizing the severity of the issue, the Wildlife Conservation Department has also intervened to supply water to wildlife in national parks, acknowledging the toll the drought has taken on animals as well.
The Water Supply and Drainage Board has issued a plea to the general public, urging them to use water judiciously as reservoir levels are dwindling due to the prevailing dry weather conditions. This call for responsible water usage is crucial to ensure that available water resources are utilized effectively.
According to the Sri Lanka Department of Meteorology, most parts of the island are predicted to experience mainly fair weather conditions in the coming days.