Posted by: FECT ADMIN | February 22, 2017

FECT Staff Reports on Field Trip to Aranayake, Sri Lanka

The tragic landslide occurred in Aranayaka Divisional Secretariat on 17th may 2016 at 5.17 resulted in a catastrophic situation, burying parts of three villages, namely Siripura, Elangapitiya and Pallebage. The land slide killing over 150 people and destroying a large number of houses and properties has been a devastating experience in the year 2016. FECT staff visited the land slide area on June 30th 2016.

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Aranayaka Land slide

Reports by Scientists Read More…

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Posted by: FECT ADMIN | November 18, 2016

MONITORING THE ONGOING DROUGHT IN SRI LANKA

Authors: Prabodha Agalawatte, Zeenas Yahiya and Lareef Zubair

From the article published in  groundviews.orglink


 

201503011213360098Bare Agricultural fields due to the drought

The drought has followed the floods in mid-May in Sri Lanka, affecting 625,000 people directly along with agriculture, water supply, irrigation and nature. Here, we quantify this drought and show that it (a) is most severe in the Eastern and North-Central Provinces; (b) was due to markedly low rainfall after May, (c) has reached the intensity of the initial phase of the last major drought of 2013 and (d) shall likely not be sustained for as long.

Which areas are most affected?

According to the Disaster Management Center, 625,000 people were affected by the drought by 13th October 2016. Out of this 45% were from north-central and eastern provinces. 130,000 people (30% of the district’s population) were affected by drought in Polonnaruwa district (Figure 1) along with large numbers in Batticaloa, Ampara, Moneragala, Hambantota, Kalutara, Puttalam and Kilinochchi districts. About 13% of the populations in Kilinochchi and Batticaloa districts were affected. Read More…

Posted by: FECT ADMIN | November 17, 2015

The Climate over Sri Lanka up to the Yala of 2015

By:- Prabodha Agalawatte, Udara Rathnayake, Zeenas Yahiya, Lareef Zubair
Foundation for Environment, Climate and Technology, Digana Village, Rajawella, Sri Lanka.
October 6, 2015.

Summary

The rainfall from January to March leading up to the 2015 Yala season was slightly lower than normal; the rain picked up in April and May exceeding normal values. Even though the rainfall remained below normal for the rest of the season through August, the water availability was suited for irrigated cultivation such as for rice. North-central region of the country mostly received above average rainfall while south western regions which usually receive high rainfall mostly received below average rainfall. During September the entire country received above average rainfall. Heavy rainfall was observed during last two weeks of September which caused floods in several areas of the country. An El Nino event which had developed to a borderline state for many months became a fully-fledged event by July 2015.

Usually during an El Nino, the rainfall is deficient from January to March and June to August. Rainfall in October to December is above normal and in May too is usually above normal. In addition, a positive Indian Ocean Dipole event took place – what this means is that the Arabian sea is warmer than normal in relation to the Bay of Bengal seas surfaces near Sumatra. In positive dipole events, usually there is a weak drop in rainfall from June to August and a significant rise from September to November. So this years, rainfall is following close to the historical averages for a combined El Nino and positive Indian Ocean Dipole event. In addition to this the amplitude of the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) in 2015 has been a mixture of very high amplitude events and weak events. When the amplitude is higher than 1 the rainfall is enhanced or suppressed based on the location of the MJO wave. When it is less than 1 MJO is considered to be weak and there shall not be an impact on rainfall. During March- April and June- July the MJO was strong. During February, May, August- September the MJO was mostly weak. Severe drought conditions were not observed during the early Yala season because most parts of the country observed high rainfall in April and May. Significant below average rainfall was only observed in July 2015. Read More…

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Climate change and rice farming

A sustained program of research under AgMIP (Agricultural Model Inter-comparison and Improvement Project) has led to the implementation for climate, crop, and economic models for rice agricultural systems in Sri Lanka.

Research under this program included generating future climate projections,   using them to drive crop models that feed into integrated climate–crop–economic models that in turn quantify climate impacts on livelihoods and poverty.

A summary of the research was published recently and NASA TRS has made a scan of this chapter available on its website.

See the Chapter Read More…

The ocean's contribution to growth, stating

A “Blue” Economy

The document titled the “Future We Want” highlights the ocean’s contribution to growth, stating; “We stress the importance of the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans and seas and of their resources for sustainable development

By Kanchana Wickramasinghe

The development process known as ‘Greening’ has been the foremost topic of discussion for years, while ‘Blue’ seems to be the new ‘colour’entering the ongoing dialogue. ‘Blue’ talks about the use of ocean and its resources sustainably. The blue economy approach will not replace but mutually support the green economy, for the use of ocean resources.

The concept of blue economy stresses on the conservation and sustainable management of oceans. It is related to the ‘blue’ or ocean capital and complements the green economy. Accordingly, the blue economy approach recognizes the productivity of healthy ocean ecosystems as a way to safeguard sustainable ocean-based economies, as well as to ensure that coastal countries benefit from their marine resources.

International
Milestones

The oceans were on the multilateral negotiations agenda at the Rio+20 Conference in 2012. The outcome document titled the “Future We Want” highlights the ocean’s contribution to growth, stating; “We stress the importance of the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans and seas and of their resources for sustainable development.”

The Abu Dhabi Declaration, adopted in January 2014 highlights a blue economy’s contribution towards alleviation of hunger, poverty eradication, creation of sustainable livelihoods, and mitigation of climate change. Accordingly, the aspects which were particularly highlighted are:

(a) Fisheries and their vital role in providing food security and sustainable livelihoods,

(b) Tourism as a source of decent employment and a contributor to poverty alleviation,

(c) Ocean as a source of renewable energy from wind, wave, tidal, thermal and biomass sources,

(d) Ocean as a source of hydrocarbon and mineral resources and,

(e) Ocean as the primary medium of global trade through shipping and port facilities.

The commitment to strengthen the blue economy was made at the 14th Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Member States of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) in Perth in October, 2014. The maritime related economic activities were identified as a common source of growth, innovation and job creation. It further highlighted the need for expansion of trade and investment within the region, including fisheries activities, minerals exploration, development of renewable energy, and coastal tourism, in order to stimulate growth and improve region’s food and energy
security.

Read More…

Posted by: FECT ADMIN | September 28, 2014

Warden gripes “But we still have no water”

BY ZAHRAH IMTIAZ

NO WATER

                               NO WATER

Drought conditions prevail at the Yala National Park although rainfall has been reported in the surrounding areas.
Foundation for Environment Climate and Technology (FECT), in its weekly predictions on weather, reported that up to 45mm rainfall is expected in the South-Western and Southern parts of Sri Lanka from 17-30 September.
FECT reported rainfall last week in Southern and Eastern parts of the country. Meanwhile, on 12 September, 30 mm of rainfall was recorded at the Yala National Park and on 13-14, the entire South-western region had received 40 mm of rain.

But authorities said that the rain received at the Park was light, insufficient to have an impact on the sanctuary.
Though rain is being reported in the region, suffering from a prolonged drought, Yala National Park, Warden, S. Saranga however, said though there were light rains, common this time of year, it however, made no difference to the prevailing drought conditions in the park. “We still have no water”, he said.
The Park Warden said he continued to use water bowsers to supply water to the Park.

“We have installed motors to pump water at two places and four other places have solar pumps,” said Saranga.
The Chief Incumbent of the Sithulpahuwa Raja Maha Viharaya, Metaraba Hemarathana Thera said that it had only rained in Kataragama and that most of Yala remained dry. The thera is actively involved in supply water to the watering holes in the Park.
The thera and warden have been told to expect rain after 15 October. Given this scenario, the two parties have three more weeks to find water to maintain water supplies in the Park. That’s the period when the North-East (NE) Monsoons are expected to hit the country.
Original Post Link- Click here

Ports, hotels will cause erosion near and far
View(s):

For Shanthi of the Sri Dharmaarama Road fishing village in Ratmalana and Kamala Fernando of Ransigamawella off Wennappuwa, the coming days are a struggle to protect their houses from the strong waves that are rapidly swallowing up the shore.

Thousands of families living bordering the south-western coasts and north-western coasts are at a growing risk of coastal erosion, experts fear.

Sea Erotion

Sea Erosion

The latest danger was reported in Ratmalana where about 20 houses were destroyed with chairs, mats, pots and pans of poor fishing families sailing away with the waves.

Prof. W.N. Wilson, senior lecturer in geography at the Colombo University, said more than half the country’s population lives in coastal areas and the coastline from Kalpitiya to Tangalle is more prone to coastal erosion-related disasters.

He said the beaches of Mt. Lavinia, Ratmalana, Wellawatte, Wattala, Poruthota, off Wennappuwa, Marawila, Kalpitiya, Weligama, Beruwala, Ahangama, Hikkaduwa and Unawatuna would be more affected by erosion due to human-made factors and natural factors such as the south-west monsoon, disturbances in the atmosphere, rough seas and strong currents.He said crystalline rocks, corals, beach sand and rock debris found in the coastal terrain acted as natural barriers but these were being destroyed in places.

“Coral mining, mining in rivers and estuaries, rock-blasting to build harbors, drilling into coastal soil layers to build hotels, apartments etc. are among the leading causes for the increased coastal erosion,” Prof. Wilson said.

Read More…

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An ongoing drought in several dry zone districts in Sri Lanka and predictions of an El Nino year paint a grim scenario for an island that has had continuous issues of flooding, drought and landslides in the past five years, a UN official said this week.

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Razina Bilgrami

Razina Bilgrami, Resident Representative, UNDP Colombo, speaking at Tuesday’s launch in Colombo of a project titled “Strengthening the resilience of post conflict recovery and development to climate change risks in Sri Lanka”, said that the impact of such disasters is felt more amongst the vulnerable and the poor – and that is why it is very close to UNDP’s heart. She said a recent survey by UNOCHA on drought showed that the poorest people, those who depend on rain-fed agriculture or on small village tanks, are the worst-affected and most unable to resume livelihood activities.

Read More…

Posted by: FECT ADMIN | July 28, 2014

Landmark climate change project launch in Sri Lanka

Economic Development Ministry and UNDP Sri Lanka yesterday marked the official launch of its project under the Environmental Sustainability and Disaster Resilience Program, ‘Strengthening the Resilience of Post Conflict Recovery and Development to Climate Change Risks in Sri Lanka’.
The occasion was graced by Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, Resident Representative a.i., UNDP Sri Lanka Razina Bilgrami, Ministry Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka, Ismail Omer, Representative, World Food Program Sri Lanka, Beth Crawford, Representative, Food and Agricultural Organisation, Sri Lanka, Divi Neguma Additional Director-General and climate project director Jayatilaka Herath, UNDP Acting Assistant country Director (Environment) Tharuka Dissanaike and representatives from other Government institutions and civil society organisations.

 Environmental Sustainability and Disaster Resilience Program,

Environmental Sustainability and Disaster Resilience Program

The official launch of the project was followed by an inception workshop. Given the impact of climate-related disasters on the vulnerable and the poor, the project aims to provide necessary technical and financial support to the Rural Development Unit and the Divi Neguma Department of the Ministry of Economic Development to safeguard the investments made in uplifting the rural livelihoods against climate related disasters and environmental changes.

Read More…

Posted by: FECT ADMIN | April 23, 2014

WHEN DISASTER RAINS, TALK

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Heavy monsoon clouds advance on Sri Lanka’s southern coast near Hikkaduwa town

COLOMBO, Aug 20 2013 (IPS) – GuEnter a captionlam Rasul, chief meteorologist at the Pakistan Meteorological Department, was sure early this month that the second leg of the annual monsoon due in the latter half of the month was going to be bad. “Normally it peaks towards late August,” Rasul told IPS.

Even before peaking, the 2013 monsoon has been deadly. By mid-August, floods in Pakistan had killed more than 80 and left over 80,000 stranded, according to the Pakistan Disaster Management Agency.

Rasul says South Asian countries need to treat the monsoon with more respect than they do.

“It is vital for the region, probably the most vital annual weather event, and we need to be better prepared. It is at our risk that we take it lightly,” Rasul said from his office in Islamabad.

The monsoon has been erratic in recent years. Last year the monsoon failed in Sri Lanka, and parts of the country’s northern, eastern and southern regions went through a drought that affected at least 1.2 million people.

This year the monsoon has been above average. Rains have been lashing the country since June, and have so far caused 58 deaths and stranded over 17,000.

  Read More…

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