Sri Lanka is currently facing a dire drought crisis, with widespread water scarcity impacting over 200,000 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 210,000 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 41,000 people are directly affected, while Trincomalee and Batticaloa have reported 7,000 and 29,000 affected individuals respectively. Ampara and Kurunegala are also facing challenges, with 25,000 and 14,000 people respectively experiencing the impact of the water scarcity. The city of Jaffna has been hit the hardest, with a staggering 70,000 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 & Drainage Board has issued an urgent appeal to the general public, urging them to exercise prudence in their water consumption as dry weather conditions continue to impact water resources. With a notable 9% decline in the overall daily capacity of purified drinking water supply, authorities emphasize the critical need for responsible water usage.
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.