COLOMBO, 4 April 2014 (IRIN) – Sri Lanka has had six months of drought and could face severe crop losses and electricity shortages if the coming monsoon is as weak as forecasts predict, experts say.
“The situation is really, really bad,” said Ranjith Punyawardena, chief climatologist at the Department of Agriculture. “Already there are harvest losses and more are anticipated.”
According to Punyawardena, 5 percent (280,000 tons) of the 2014 rice harvest has already been lost due to the ongoing drought, which stretches back to November 2013. With 200,000 hectares of rice fields (20 percent of the annual cultivated total) planted during the secondary harvesting season already lost, experts say the losses from the drought could be exacerbated by the forecasted weak southwest monsoon, due in May. http://www.irinnews.org/report/99884/drought-begins-to-bite-in-sri-lanka
KATHMANDU, May 16 2013 (IPS) – With a combined population of over 1.7 billion, which includes some of the world’s poorest but also a sizeable middle class with a growing spending capacity, South Asia is a policymaker’s nightmare. The region’s urban population is set to double by 2030, with India alone adding 90 million city dwellers to its metropolises since 2000. Over 75 percent of South Asia’s residents live in rural areas, with agriculture accounting for 60 percent of the labour force, according to recent statistics released by the World Bank.
South Asia has always been a climatic hot spot. According to Pramod Aggarwal, South Asia principal researcher and regional programme leader for agriculture and food security for the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), over 70 percent of the region is prone to drought, 12 percent to floods and eight percent to cyclones.
Millions affected, tens of thousands displaced, damages in billions of dollars – Sri Lanka is facing the brunt of changing climate cycles. Extreme weather events are becoming ordinary, but still authorities are not geared to tackle them and make sure the affected are not left helpless. There is always the chance that the victims could be in for double jeopardy, as 2012 showed. http://www.irinnews.org/Report/98008/Beating-wild-weather-in-Sri-Lanka
“In a tattered mud-and-twigs hut, some 16 kilometers away from Jati Tehsil in Thatta district, Hanifa lights up her cigarette confidently telling us she can handle a natural disaster if it comes. She sounds pretty brave as she narrates her tales of survival from a series of natural disasters in the last two decades….” Desiree Francis writes…
Read more http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-137665-Women-on-the-frontline-of-climate-change
Hanifa and her villagers talk to the scribe in her hut.