President directs Army to help divisional authorities

President Maithripala Sirisena reviewing the situation of drinking water provisions in drought hit districts has directed Army personnel to render their assistance to divisional authorities to supply water to the affected villages.

The President also directed finance ministry and disaster management officials and divisional secretaries to ensure that the supply of dry rations remains uninterrupted and that they reach farmer families in the affected areas through co-operative societies.

The distribution of dry rations for farmers was ordered by the President on July 30 during an inspection tour of a drought-hit village in the Kabithigollawa Divisional Secretariat Division.

Presidential Secretariat sources said plans are in place to meet drinking water needs of about 250,000 drought affected people in 117 Divisional Secretariat Divisions in 20 districts. Meanwhile, during a meeting held between Secretary to the President Austin Fernando and executives of the ministries of Water Supply, Urban Development, Finance and Home Affairs, it was discussed to increase drinking water provisions. Sources said they discussed the possibility of making an additional round of drinking water supplies at night to the affected farmer families and that increased water quantities being made available for the use of wildlife.

The sources said as part of the dry ration distribution programme, the government provided food items to 2,000 farmer families in the Shavasthipura village in the Anuradhapura district yesterday.

The parcels of dry rations containing dhal, sugar and canned fish were distributed among the people in the Shathripura Multi-purpose Cooperative Society premises.

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