Drought resilience in Sri Lanka’s northern provinces

Last week our colleagues Fredrik Huthoff and Kris van den Berg were in Sri Lanka where they visited the northern districts of Killinochchi and Mullaitivu as part of a drought risk assessment. While there are several large water bodies in the area, still many communities suffer from water shortages for domestic as well as agricultural use. Ground water contamination is widespread in the area, and coastal zones have increasingly become unfit for growing of traditional crops due to saltwater intrusion. This is partly due to a changing climate.

More intense rainfall alternates with longer periods of drought, which have reduced the recharge of fresh groundwater. First findings indicate that sufficient fresh water is available for all. To improve drought resilience, actions are needed to better distribute what is available and to anticipate on times of need.

dr. F. Huthoff Senior Consultant Rivers, Coasts and Deltas