BY ZAHRAH IMTIAZ
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.
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