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DMC report reveals Jaffna among worst drought-hit districts in Sri Lanka

The latest official figures from the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) in Sri Lanka reveal that authorities have failed to provide drinking water to the country’s worst drought-hit northern region – in particular Jaffna and Mannar – for over three months, according to JDS Lanka. 

The report states the total number the number affected by the dry weather in the North is 115,542 as of 28 July 2020 and emphasises “it is nearly half the drought affected in the whole island.” The report also highlights the districts of Jaffna and Mannar as among the worst-affected and Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi and Vavuniya also among the drought-hit areas.

It also reported that “while authorities have distributed drinking water to all the other drought ridden districts with 101,127 people, only Welioya and Puthukkudiyiruppu in the North have received water.”

On 28 October 2019, British parliamentarians filed an Early Day Motion calling for steps to be taken to ensure that clean drinking water is fully accessible in the Tamil North of Sri Lanka and expressed their concern over Colombo’s refusal to allow independent assessments of water quality in the region. The motion called for “steps to be taken to allow all citizens in northern Sri Lanka, the majority of whom are Tamils, to have access to clean drinking water.”

Despite the motion, the report said that only “two divisional secretariat areas have been supplied with water so far. The total number of drought hit people in the island was 216,669,” as of 28 July 2020. 

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