2017’s Drought And What It Means To Sri Lanka.

This year's drought crisis (for, yes, it is a crisis) didn't suddenly sneak up and pounce on us. It's been there since last year, and has just been growing bigger and bigger. But, I guess we were all too distracted with the floods that hit us last May to realize just how comfortable global warming has made itself in Sri Lanka.

Nearly a million people have been affected to date: the World Food Programme's Initial Rapid Assesment on Drought 2016 puts the number at 915,000 to be precise.

Okay, there'll be a water shortage. What else?

What else? Thirst, starvation, poverty and debt induced death: and I'm not even exaggerating.

  • Most of who will be strongly affected aren't those of us in Colombo or people with easy water accessibility (i.e. pipelines). The worst affected will be small scale paddy farmers, agricultural labourers and people making a livelihood off the agri-industry.
  • Sri Lanka already has one of the world's highest suicide rates and most of those reported deaths are from the main agricultural districts. Suicide in the farming community is common news, especially when they are unable to yield harvest and pay off debts. As of December 2016, there's less than 50% of the water required for the Maha Cultivation actually available, and our irrigation capacity is at a scary low.

  • Food shortage, because of low cultivation. According to a joint WFP and government survey, this is the lowest cultivation we've had over the last 30 years. Think about it: even at the height of war, we were producing more food than we can now. We're also going to be short of rice — shorter than we usually are.
  • Our drinking water shortage is terrifying: 22 out of 25 districts are short of drinking water and the National Disaster Relief Management has allocated Rs. 42 million to help face this.
  • Hydropower is affected, and we'll probably face power cuts.
  • The government rather strangely said they'll issue a circular to control A/C temperatures in governmental offices

What Can YOU Do?

This is something that's been taught to you throughout primary school, but something we seem to casually ignore as we stumbled into adulthood and thought most rules don't apply to us anymore: use water carefully.

It should be pretty obvious, but I've noticed people pretty much everywhere I go act irresponsibly: especially when near a tap.

  • Don't use water continuously when brushing your teeth, washing your hands or the dishes. It may be annoying and inconvenient, but close the tap while you pause to soap.
  • Collect dirty laundry and wash a full load in one go.
  • Limit watering your lawn to twice or thrice a week. Apparently, 5mms of water is enough for gardens during warm weather.
  • Try not to hose your vehicle down every week — it can survive a bit of dust and dirt. Fill a bucket and do a bit of solid wiping.

This is actually a very real problem. Here's a picture of what parts of the Victoria Reservoir currently looks like (hint: NOT like a reservoir). We took this a couple of weeks ago.

So, yeah. Be mindful and conserve.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp




Indulge in Japanese Culinary Bliss at Minori Restaurant

By Sahasni Gamage Nestled within the luxurious Granbell Hotel, Minori Japanese Restaurant offers an unparalleled

Highlights Kamu

Experience flavorful Singaporean delights with a modern twist at Shiok!

By Sahasni Gamage We recently had the pleasure of dining at Shiok Singaporean Restaurant, which

Highlights Kamu

7 Fantastic Pizza Places to Try in Colombo

By Shamrina Carim Colombo, the vibrant capital city of Sri Lanka, is a haven for

Highlights Kamu

High Tea Guide for 2023

You and your friends decide to meet up after your last farewell, get together or

Highlights Kamu

Excel World Legacy Food Court launches Indi-Arabia Menu

By Hashini Pathirana https://www.tiktok.com/@yamusrilanka/video/7252917491427511560 Experience a culinary journey like no other at Excel World's launches


A Taste of Jaffna at Flavoured by Cinnamon Red

By Hiruni Herath Flavoured at Cinnamon Red is enclosed by stunning views of the Colombo

Highlights Kamu Uncategorized


Radisson Blu Resort Galle recently organized a delightful wine-tasting occasion

Radisson Blu Resort Galle recently hosted a delightful wine-tasting event on September 17th, showcasing an


Hilton Sri Lanka Collaborates with VOICE Area Federation to Enhance Community Resilience and Combat Hunger

For a brighter and secure Sri Lanka, fostering sustainability via community farms and kitchen programs.


Galle Face Hotel Presents ‘Yaalpana Santhai’ – A Gastronomic Journey into Jaffna Cuisine

Colombo, Sri Lanka – The Galle Face Hotel, an iconic landmark in Sri Lanka's hospitality


The Latest MSI Limited-Edition Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport is Available Now

MSI, the world-leading laptop brand, proudly unveiled its latest limited-edition laptop, the Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG

Highlights Trending

Türkiye Food Festival Unveiled at Courtyard by Marriott Colombo

Colombo, September 4, 2023 - Courtyard by Marriott Colombo, an esteemed member of the Marriott


A Pho-Nomenal Vietnamese Feast at Cinnamon Grand Colombo

Vietnamese food has made its mark on the global culinary map with favourites such as


Yamu Guide.

Spotting Blue Whales in Mirissa with Chaminda Whale Watching

The whale watching tour in Mirissa Start time: 6:30am Duration: 3-5 hours depending on sightings

Highlights Yamu Guide

The Rise of Plant-Based Diets: Benefits and Challenges

By Shamrina Carim In recent years, plant-based diets have surged in popularity, drawing attention for

Highlights Yamu Guide

6 Things to Do at One Galle Face

Set against the panoramic backdrop of the Indian Ocean "Colombo’s first prestigious shopping mall is

Highlights Yamu Guide

7 Things to do at Colombo City Center

By Shanali Fernando 1. Shop till you drop A stunning integrated lifestyle destination set in

Highlights Yamu Guide

Wedding Venue List 2023

By Shanali Fernando When envisioning your wedding day, you may find yourself torn between various

Highlights Trending Yamu Guide

8 Places to get an Eid Sawan this Hajj Festival

The Muslims celebrate Hajj globally on the 29th of June, 2023. No doubt, along with

Highlights Yamu Guide