» 06/27/2012, 00.00
Drought warning in Sri Lanka: 60,000 hectares of cultivated land at risk
Melani Manel Perera
The delay of the monsoon rains threatens to destroy rice and other crops in the northern, northwestern and central northern areas of the country. The energy blackouts are starting: the water supplies of the hydroelectric reservoirs are almost exhausted. Agriculture Minister promises state aid.
Colombo (AsiaNews) - There's a drought warning in Sri Lanka:
the delay of the monsoon rains from the northwest has seriously affected the
agricultural sector, and threatens to destroy rice paddies and other crops.
Even the reservoirs of the hydroelectric power stations are running out of
their provisions, causing power blackouts. On 25 June, President Mahinda
Rajapaksa participated in a meeting with representatives of the farmers of
Mahaweli and Polonnaruwa, among the areas most at risk. According to Mahinda
Yapa Abeywardena, the Minister of Agriculture, about 60,700 hectares of arable
land are in danger of being destroyed.
The North Central, Northern and North Western Provinces are
the most affected areas. "Many reservoir tanks", the minister
explained, "have already dried up, and the crops are destroyed. The state
will do its utmost to help the poor peasants."
According to officials of the Department for irrigation,
farmers in Polonnaruwa have left about 3,000 hectares of land uncultivated; in
Mahaweli, 6,000 hectares of paddy fields and 20,250 hectares of other crops are
close to destruction. The situation of farmers in Eastern Province, instead, is
positive; according Abeywardena, "they have handled their water resources
well, dedicating themselves also to alternative crops other than rice, which
requires large amounts of water."
Meanwhile, the decrease of water in the hydroelectric tanks
has caused an 11.7% drop in the production of energy, to 3.58 GWh. To meet
demand, the state is resorting to thermal energy, whose production has risen by
88.3%. According to authorities, this increase in the use of thermal energy
risks causing major losses for the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB).
If the rains were to be further delayed, the National Council
for water supply and drainage would be forced to increase electricity blackouts
and ration drinking water.
Drought and Famine in India due to scarce monsoons
The rains during this monsoon season had been scarce, sometime not even half of the normal. Some states had already declared a state of drought. The rice harvest will be 10 millions tons less. The specter of starvation is threatening India.
06/04/2010 THAILAND – CHINA – VIETNAM
Mekong nations meet after 15 years
The second summit of the Mekong River Commission, which includes Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, ended yesterday with a joint statement on a common action plan to develop the river. Delegates from Myanmar and China attend the meeting as ‘dialogue partners’. Beijing rejects accusations that its hydropower development is harming the river basin.
30/04/2016 12:45:00 CAMBODIA
Drought kills hundreds of animals, survival of villages at risk
In many areas of the country lack of water and high temperatures means survival is at risk. 50 degrees reached in areas. Tons of fish and hundreds of species of animals - monkeys, reptiles, birds – have died in the last days. People wait for rainy season and the arrival of the monsoon.
Lao Farmers Devastated by Severe Drought
The ongoing drought in the Southeast Asian region linked to the El Niño phenomenon. More than 104,000 hectares of freshly planted rice seedlings affected; crops such as sweet corn, sesame and job's tear fruit were also hard hit. Monsoon season could lead to severe flooding and landslides.
21/08/2009 SRI LANKA
Going home remains a pipe dream for Tamil refugees
The government in Colombo blames the slow pace on NGOs tasked with de-mining in areas formerly controlled by the Tamil Tigers. Re-settlement plans should be completed by the end of the year, but many fear that further delays are still possible. In the meantime the monsoon season is making the humanitarian situation in refugee camps even worse.
VATICAN - USA
Pope to Trump: America’s greatness is measured by its attention to the poor
Pope Francis exalts the "rich spiritual and ethical values that have shaped the history of the American people” and the nation’s “commitment to the advancement of human dignity and freedom worldwide ". Concerns " for the poor, the outcast and those in need who, like Lazarus, stand before our door ". The oath Trump preceded by various prayers of Catholic, Protestant, Jewish Representatives. The slogan "America first" will guide political choices. String criticism of the establishment. China’s caution and the enthusiasm of the president of Taiwan.
CHINA - UNITED STATES
The Trump era begins: The China-US relationship and the risk of war
As the inauguration ceremony of the Trump presidency approaches, the Propaganda Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party has banned all journalists from “unauthorized criticism" of Trump’ words and deeds. According to the great dissident Wei Jingsheng there is a chance that Trump will force China into fair trade deals, possibly leading to political and legal reforms. A trade war is an option.
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.