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Sri Lanka Drought: Difficult Times In The North And The East

Failed Crops

Sri Lanka is a self-sufficient rice producing nation, where bumper rice harvests have been the norm over the past few years. But drought has ravished parts of the island, and the rice paddy harvest has all but failed. On average, those farmers who have been able to cultivate are facing a 20-30 percent reduction in their yields. In some pocket areas, the loss could be as high as 80 percent. These maize plants have not survived the drought.
 

Expensive Nuts

Ground nuts are an important income source for many families who live in the dry-zone areas. A greatly reduced crop has resulted in large debts for households that used credit to pay for their seeds.

Water Sources Fast Drying Up

A reservoir – normally full of water – is now so dry that cattle can walk across it. The cattle forage for something to eat and drink amidst the parched and desiccated land.

A Dry Well

This village well in Delft Island – which lies off the Jaffna Peninsula -  has barely two inches deep muddy water.

Long Journey For Water

It is becoming more and more difficult for households to access water for themselves and for their animals. Very  unusually, Somawthi has walked for almost five kilometers to collect safe drinking water for her family.

Helping Hands

WFP teams conducted assessments to determine the needs of the vulnerable households. WFP is now providing an initial one month food ration to 91,000 women, men and children who receive rice and pulses. The agency will need urgent donations to continue providing assistance.

Drought has ravished parts of the island, and the rice paddy harvest has all but failed. On average, those farmers who have been able to cultivate are facing a 20-30 percent reduction in their yields. In some pocket areas, the loss could be as high as 80 percent.