Friday, February 11, 2011

Victoria DAM - Spills off

This is Victoria DAM, Spilling Off... When we were kids we used to visit this small fall and play in its branch river. After sometime the government derided to build a reservoir and Hydro Electric Power Dam. I giot my first job opportunity in the Victoria Project. The money was good for some time for all worked. Then we had to leave when the reservoir inundated our villages. Our  home town, house went under the water. People left to many area. Most of them lost contact. A displacement of development. Today its a huge dam, producing 40MW of Electricity, and holding water when rain comes for agriculture in Mahaweli System  C. This is how it it over fills. This Dam made many children displaced but it was for a good cause and a planned cause, quite  different from floods which come unexpectedly. I still miss my home town, my old home, the river we used to play and all, our paddy fields, my small school, my relatives in the village and all my friends when I see these photos.

Water so valuable in places where it's not available
But becomes a burden when its too much!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

At least 35 pct of rice crop destroyed in Sri Lanka

Seed paddy crop destroyed-Agriculture Ministry

By Ranga Sirilal and C. Bryson Hull

COLOMBO, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Two rounds of flooding in Sri Lanka since January have destroyed at least 35 percent of the staple rice crop, the Agriculture Ministry said on Tuesday, raising the risk of food price inflation. Heavy monsoon flooding since mid-January has caused landslides and burst hundreds of dams and killed at least 57 people. In the latest round this week, rising water forced at least 193,700 people into temporary shelters.

The rice crop has taken a major beating, according to preliminary government surveys, but Asian rice traders said the impact on the global market will be minimal as the country has stocks and import volumes are expected to be small. "On rough estimates, more than 300,000 hectares' have been completely destroyed so the total expected production is 1.75 million metric tonnes," Agriculture Ministry Secretary K.E Karunatilake, the ministry's top civil servant, told Reuters.

Total expected rice production this season had been 2.7 million metric tonnes (MT) from 739,000 hectares, he said. Sri Lanka is usually self-sufficient in rice production, having produced 3.65 million metric tonnes in 2009 against an average annual consumption of 2.34 million MT, according to data from the central bank and Census and Statistics Department. Last year it imported 52,000 tonnes of specialty rice. Despite self-sufficiency, politically influential traders are often accused of hoarding supplies. The government as of now has 188,000 MT in stock, according to the Census and Statistics Department. It had no data on private stocks, but they have historically been larger than the government supply.

Monday, February 7, 2011

400,000 children are without enough food in Sri Lanka due to Floods

Over 400,000 children in Sri Lanka are facing a food crisis as a result of devastating floods since January 10th. The floods which came in two waves in January and February affected Kandy, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Vavuniya, Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Ampara districts. Over 1 million people have become displaced due to torental rain and agriculture and domastic economy has been devastated. The people who return to homes from temparory shelters are faced with food shortage and their homes, schools, crops and livelihoods have been wiped out by the rains.

The worst hit is Batticaloa district in Eastern province. The january rain flooded 90% of the district and damaged their agriculture and live stock. The sources say ove 1 million people, including 400,000 children are without enough food. The agricultural ministry says that 21% of the country's rice crop had been destroyed by rain. However this could be much more considering impact of rain in other areas and vegitable and fruit cultivation.

The rains could worse effect on local economy as much of the unaccounted domastic rice stocks have been destroyed. A mother from Kathankudi said that they have lost 50Kg rice pack stored in home. The stocks in rice mills that have been destroyed is yet un accounted. 

This devastation is only second to 2004 tsunami which killed 400,000 people and left 2.5 million homeless.This floods is an enormous setback for a country which is only just beginning to recover from the 3 decades-long war. The experts say that there could be a food crysis in the coming weeks in flooded areas.

At least 250,000 acres of agricultural land and more than 240,000 livestoclek, and 80% of rice crop are considered to have been lost in the eastern part of Sri Lanka, which produces 25% of the rice to the people. As their harvest and lively hood have been washed away by rains, the people need support to repair their irrigation, roads and need to survive until next harvest. A health experts said that "children could face a major risk from food crisis and water born deceases leading to severe malnutrition problem".

Thae damages to agriculture also impact poor families who lost their daily labour work in agriculture works. Until landowners cultivate again, they can't find work. As a result the children would drop school and possibly forced in to child labour says a children welfare organization.

The UN assistant secretary general for humanitarian affairs, Catherine Bragg, launched an appeal for flood victims "who were desperately vulnerable to begin with" after visiting the east.

More than a million affected by adverse weather conditions in Sri Lanka

More than a million have been affected and 300,000 people have been displaced due to floods due to the adverse weather conditions says Disaster Management Center.The displaced have been provided with temporary shelter in 641 camps in flooded areas of Anuradhapura, Vavuniya, Polonnaruwa, Batticaloa Districts. The Met Department states the low pressure condition that is affecting the country would continue and Central, Eastern, Northern and North-Central areas would receive heavy rains. Mean while people of Badulu Oya in Badulla District have been displaced due to land slides, Yapa Chandralatha , our Badulla correspondent stated.

Food Shortage in Horowpothana - Anuradhapura

Suranga, Reporting from Horowpothana says that there is a severe food shortage in Horowpothana. The town is again flooded and transport is limited to few roads and only heavy vehicals can travel. Due to the floods health issues have emerged. There is a shortage of medicine and medicare. Many children and women have become sick due to floods.

Accordring to reports there are 5134 people in 1541 Families have been affected in Horowpothana DS division. Among them 1234 are staying in 9 camps.

Rameeza reporting from Eravur, Batticaloa said, although the water receded yesturday, it has become rising today due to continuing rain.   The road from Polonnaruwa was opened today, yet it may be closed again today if the rain continues. They say that there is a general issues of relief cordination to the people who live in villages due to accessibility issues and lack of support services and personnel.

Accordring to  District Disaster Management Center 144, 533 persons in 41,000 families have been displaced in Anuradhapura district. Two deaths have been reported from Horowpothana area which included a child who was fallen in to a water hole. Many reserviors  have been damaged. The Government has declared Anuradhapura city as a disaster zone Friday evening. Accordring to weather experts the rain may continue till end march.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Mapakadawewa Tank - Mahiyanganaya

Randenigala Spillway

                                                           Randenigala DAM & Spill way
Randenigala Spill Way

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Floods Hit Again

Heavy rains in Ampara and Batticaloa district has affected the Eravur. The access to Eravura has been blooked by floods in Manampitiya road & Batticaloa road. Ramiza from Eravur reported of Crocadiles and Snakes in the floods. Her house downstairs is flooded. There is a severe shortage of food and basic essaintials in Eravur she said.

Kamila reporting from Nawaladi, said that people from Vakarai and Pirambaditive has come to ottamawadi, as well as there is a food shortage in the area.

Nadun Reporting from Polonnaruwa said that, the floods are worse than previous time and madigiriya area is fully affected.

Suranaga Reports from Horowpathana at
On the status of floods in Horowpathana in  Anuradhapura District.

Our travel in east Monaragala and South of Ampara district wittnessed damage to agriculture and livelyhoods of people. It was rainining continuesly from 27th Janauary to 4 February on our way.
The rain continueing from 2010 November has damaged properties, agriculture and affected lives of people, where children are the most victimized. There is a problem of access to flooded areas due to flooding of accessible roads.

A Video By Suranga@Horowpathana