Don’t politicize changes in natural environment and weather including drought – State Minister of Defence

State Minister of Defence Premitha Bandara Tennakoon is at a meeting

The dry spell that is being experienced in Sri Lanka now is a seasonal phenomenon and nobody should attempt to take political mileage out of it, State Minister of Defence Premitha Bandara Tennakoon said.

The State Minister stated this while speaking at a press briefing held at the Defence Ministry in Colombo yesterday (August 09).

State Minister Tennakoon revealed that 166,904 people from 50,535 families in 13 districts are affected by the drought.

The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) has taken measures to provide drinking water to affected people in coordination with respective District and Divisional Secretariats.

State Minister Tennakoon thanked President Ranil Wickremesinghe for allocating required funds for this purpose at a time when the country is facing an economic crisis.

The country is going through a dry spell due to seasonal changes in weather and the situation will improve with monsoonal rains that are expected in the coming months.

We have had extensive discussions with state institutions including the Disaster Management Division , Irrigation Ministry, Power and Energy Ministry, Agriculture Ministry, Department of Agrarian Development, Irrigation Department, Mahaweli Authority, Electricity Board, Public Utilities Commission, Met. Department, DMC, National Building Research Organization and the Irrigation Department over the issue and how collective measures can be taken to deal with this situation to provide relief to those affected.

He also stressed the need for efficient water management to overcome water supply and irrigation requirements.

State Minister Tennakoon further said that he plans to have monthly meetings with the media where he expects to share information collected from local and international meteorological sources and weather forecasts and how authorities plan to face climatic emergencies in the future.

While speaking of human induced disasters, the State Minister said that 58 bushfires have so far been reported from several parts of the country and most of these fires are created by human activity.

He said that laws should be updated to deal with such perpetrators in order to prevent such incidents.

Director General of the DMC Maj. Gen. Sudantha Ranasinghe, Director General of the Met. Department AK Karunanayake and Senior Assistant Secretary at the Ministry of Defence Harsha Withanarachchi were also present at the press briefing.