Action to prevent flash floods
COLOMBO: In a move to rectify the blunders which caused the
recent flash floods, the Disaster Management Ministry has called for
reports from the four affected districts, identifying the individual
Citing ad-hoc filling of marshy land, unattended lakes that had been
blocked for years, blocked drainage systems and illegal structures as
the reasons for flooding, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said he has
directed district officials to submit a comprehensive report outlining
recommendations on how to mitigate the problem in their areas.
Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara and Galle districts suffered heavily in
the recent torrential rains caused by a depression in the East Bengal
The flash floods displaced a total of over 145,000 and claimed 17
The district report is to embody the causes, prevention and
mitigation measures as well as required funding to implement the
“I will take their recommendations in a single comprehensive report
before the Cabinet shortly,” the Minister said.
“We can get the funding for the restorations, renovations and
constructions from the Treasury or if unable to do so would go to the
External Resources Department of the Finance Ministry and get donor
funding for the envisaged projects.”
“This cannot be done by the Ministry alone. We need people’s
cooperation, especially when removing illegal structures in the City, a
major cause for floods,” Samarasinghe added.
Meanwhile, the Colombo Floods Committee of the Disaster Management
Ministry will clean and deepen the lakes circulating within the Colombo
municipality under a Rs.80 million project to ensure there would no
floods in Colombo during the forthcoming monsoon season.
Addressing a press conference at the Disaster Management Ministry
yesterday, the Disaster Management Secretary P. Dias Amarasinghe said
the programme was now in full swing and they hope to conclude it before
monsoon rains which are expected later this month.