Sri Lanka experiences worst drought in 40 years: UN

COLOMBO, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka, since late 2016, has been experiencing a lack of rainfall which has developed into what is believed to be the worst drought in 40 years, with significant impacts on the economic activity, livelihoods and lives of communities, the latest United Nation (UN) report said on Tuesday.

   As of September 19, 1.9 million people were estimated to be affected by the drought across 17 districts, according to the State-run Disaster Management Centre (DMC).

   Due to ongoing drought, the rice production for 2017 is expected to be the lowest paddy production in the last 10 years. The production forecast for 2017 will be sufficient for just over 7 months of household consumption, the report by the UN resident coordinator said. 

   "As a result, over 300,000 households are estimated to be food insecure with many households limiting their food intake and in some cases eating just one meal a day."

   As much as 50 percent of households surveyed in a recent World Food Program assessment reported that their debts have almost doubled compared to 2016 due to a lack of agriculture based income.

   Even though sporadic rains have been experienced in drought- hit areas over the past few weeks, the UN report warns these rains are unlikely to significantly alleviate the ongoing drought conditions which are predicted to continue in the coming weeks.

   The government along with the UN and other organizations have rolled out relief programs.   Enditem

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