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Monthly allowance likely for drought-affected

The Finance Ministry is exploring the possibility of granting a monthly allowance to drought-affected families as their livelihoods are ruined due to the prevailing drought.

Rs. 5,000 is proposed to be paid to each drought - affected family, said W. E. Jayathilake, senior Kurunegala District Divisional Secretary. He was speaking at a meeting of paddy farmers of Kurunegala at the Bingiriya Agrarian Service Centre in Kurunegala, yesterday.

Farmers, who could not cultivate paddy lands for three consecutive seasons due to the drought, are considered to be granted the allowance. Chaminda Pathiraja, Director of the National Disaster Management Centre had confirmed that farmers of Kurunegala, Polonnaruwa, Ampara, Mannar, Jaffna, Trincomalee, Mullaitivu, Moneragala, Batticaloa, Hambantota, Matale, Puttalam, Kegalle and Kalutara are thus affected by the drought.

About nine million families in these districts are being supplied with drinking water by the government through the National Disaster Management Centre, Jayathilake said.