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Old Irrigation Systems Revived to Fight Sri Lanka Drought

03 July 2012

SRI LANKA - The Committee on Emergency Drought Relief appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to help farmer communities affected by the prevailing drought, is to revive the old and dilapidated irrigation systems, feeder canals and tanks in the drought-affected districts to provide necessary compensation to farmers.

Agrarian Services and Wildlife Minister SM Chandrasena yesterday told the Daily News that the committee have sent equipment needed to restore those dilapidated tanks and canals following President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s instructions to rehabilitate them for the future use of agriculture.

Minister Chandrasena said: "We have sent necessary machinery and equipment needed for irrigation works to Anuradhapura and Polonnmaruwa districts."

"There are hundreds of irrigation canals and tanks that have become silted and gone beyond use due to prolonged neglect and lack of action by authorities in the two districts. There are about 136 minor tanks that need immediate repair," said Minister Chandrasena.

He said the committee is currently discussing about making payments to farmer communities who will take part in their programme for the restoration of the irrigation cananls and tanks on the orders of the President.

According to sources at the Disaster Management Ministry, the Treasury has allocated Rs 300 million to meet the drinking water needs of farmers and the affected public.

According to Galnewa Pradeshiya Sabha Secretary in the Anuradhapura district Swarna Edirisinghe, they have provided necessary data about the people who have been affected by the drought and about the affected farm lands to the Anuradhapura District Secretariat.

"The government has supported the Secretariat by assisting with its supplies of drinking water to the affected farmers," said Mr Chandrasena.

"Security personnel have also come to our assistance by helping farmers repair the Hada Oya Canal to ensure water supply to several paddy fields in the district," he concluded.

TheCropSite News Desk

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