Search

 

Cablegate: Drought Conditions Persist in Sri Lanka's

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS COLOMBO 001732

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

AIDAC

DEPT. FOR DCHA/OFDA

MANILA FOR REGIONAL DISASTER ADVISOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: NONE
SUBJECT: DROUGHT CONDITIONS PERSIST IN SRI LANKA'S
SOUTHEASTERN DRY ZONE


SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED -- PROTECT ACCORDINGLY

1. (U) ON SEPTEMBER 6, 2002, USAID OFFICIALS ATTENDED AN
EMERGENCY-PREPAREDNESS MEETING CONVENED BY THE
CONSORTIUM OF HUMANITARIAN AGENCIES IN COLOMBO. THIS
RESULTED IN AN EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION REGARDING THE
DROUGHT-LIKE CONDITIONS CONTINUING TO AFFECT THE
SOUTHERN DRY ZONE OF SRI LANKA. THE MEETING WAS CHAIRED
BY THE LOCAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR THE INTERNATIONAL
FEDERATION OF RED CROSS/CRESCENT SOCIETIES (IFRC); ALSO
ATTENDING WERE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED NATIONS,
INTERNATIONAL AND LOCAL NGOS, AND THE NORWEGIAN AGENCY
FOR DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION (NORAD).

2. (U) A CONSENSUS WAS REACHED THAT ALTHOUGH RAINFALL IN
THE HAMBANTOTA AND MONERAGALA DISTRICTS CONTINUES TO BE BE
SCANT, CONSTRAINING DRINKING WATER SUPPLIES AND IRRIGATED
AGRICULTURE, THE SITUATION AT PRESENT DOES NOT CONSTITUTE
AN EMERGENCY. THIS IS UNDERSCORED BY THE ABSENCE TO DATE
OF A FORMAL REQUEST FOR RELIEF ASSISTANCE BY THE GOVERNMENT
OF SRI LANKA.

3. (SBU) INDIVIDUAL MINISTERS WITH STRONG POLITICAL TIES
TO THE REGION HAVE HOWEVER APPEALED TO VARIOUS DONORS,
INCLUDING USAID, FOR FUNDING OF RELATED PROJECTS IN
DROUGHT-AFFECTED PARTS OF THEIR CONSTITUENCIES.

4. (U) USAID OFFICIALS CARRIED OUT A VISIT TO THE REGION
FROM AUGUST 11-14, 2002, TO CONDUCT A RISK-POTENTIAL
ASSESSMENT AND MONITOR THE EFFICACY OF DROUGHT RELIEF
ASSISTANCE MADE AVAILABLE IN 2001. SAVE THE CHILDREN
FUND (UK) (SCF/UK) RECEIVED A $25,000 DISASTER
ASSISTANCE GRANT PURSUANT TO THE AMBASSADOR'S DISASTER
DECLARATION OF SEPTEMBER 6, 2001. THE FUNDS WERE USED
TO PURCHASE WATER BOWSERS, STORAGE TANKS AND PORTABLE
CONTAINERS TO PROVIDE CLEAN DRINKING WATER SUPPLIES IN
HAMBANTOTA AND MONERAGALA. BASED ON FIRST-HAND
INFORMATION OBTAINED FROM RELEVANT STAKEHOLDERS AND
RESIDENTS OF AFFECTED AREAS, USAID OFFICIALS CONCLUDED
THAT THE ASSISTANCE WAS BEING USED APPROPRIATELY TO
MITIGATE EFFECTS OF PERSISTENT DROUGHT-LIKE CONDITIONS
IN THE AREA.

5. (U) USAID OFFICIALS ALSO CONCLUDED, HOWEVER, THAT LACK
OF RAINFALL HAS CONTINUED TO SEVERELY LIMIT ACCESS TO
POTABLE WATER FOR MANY LOCAL RESIDENTS AND LIKEWISE
CONSTRAINED THE WATER-INTENSIVE AGRICULTURE -- PRIMARILY
PADDY FARMING -- PREDOMINANT IN THE REGION. PERSISTENCE
OF DROUGHT-LIKE CONDITIONS IN SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER,
MONTHS DURING WHICH TYPICAL RAINFALL IS RELATIVELY HIGH,
WILL UNDOUBTEDLY EXACERBATE THESE PROBLEMS.

6. (U) USAID/SRI LANKA CONTINUES TO MONITOR THE SITUATION
IN CLOSE CONSULTATION WITH NGO PARTNERS INVOLVED IN THE
AFFECTED REGION, UN AGENCIES AND OTHER DONORS. THE
MISSION IS PREPARED TO DISPATCH A TEAM FOR ADDITIONAL
ASSESSMENT SHOULD EXPECTED RAINS FAIL LATER THIS MONTH.
WE MAY REQUEST TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FROM OFDA'S REGIONAL
DISASTER ADVISOR IN CONDUCTING THIS ASSESSMENT.

AMSELEM

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Myanmar: Military Must Stop Murdering And Jailing Protestors – Bachelet

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Thursday said security forces in Myanmar must “halt their vicious crackdown on peaceful protestors,” following another day of deadly violence across the country on Wednesday... More>>

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs


UNFCCC: Greater Climate Ambition Urged As Initial NDC Synthesis Report Is Published

UN Climate Change today published the Initial NDC Synthesis Report, showing nations must redouble efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021 if they’re to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2°C—ideally 1.5°C—by the end of the century... More>>


2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>


Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at webtv.un.org UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>