Since Sri Lanka’s three-decade civil war ended in 2009, Nagarathnam Ganeshan has faced a major new uncertainty: how much water he will have to grow his crops.
“Gazing out over the parched earth of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province, one might think these farmlands have not seen water in years. In fact, this is not too far from the truth.”
Angry paddy farmers blocked major roads in the Minneriya and Girithale areas in Sri Lanka’s North Eastern Polonnaruwa region last month, complaining the government had not released enough water for their rice to grow; they claimed they had lost 50,000 hectares of crops, or 1.75 million kg.
Ananda Edirisuriya, who took part in the protests, accused the Irrigation Department of failing to notify farmers of impending water shortages.