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Govt spends Rs.50 m for disaster mitigation

COLOMBO: Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said yesterday that the Government has spent Rs.50 million for disaster mitigation and disaster prevention programmes so far.

Addressing the media at his Ministry, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said the Government spent Rs.13.5 million to clean the Thimpanna Paspenna canal, Rs.2 million to clean the Kohuwala canal, Rs.1 million to renovate Mutuwela canal and Rs. 10 million to clean the Welanwila canal.

He said that the Government has spent Rs. 2.5 million for flood mitigation programmes and Rs. 4.4 million for the storm water management programme in Colombo district. The UNDP has allocated Rs.1.7 million to clean Kotikawatta canal.

The Minister said that his Ministry is responsible for not only mitigating natural disasters but also responsible for addressing the effects of man-made disasters.

As this job cannot be carried out by a single Ministry several Ministries and institutions should join hands to successfully carry out this programme.

Through a sustainable disaster mitigation programme a sustainable development could be achieved.

The Minister said a special committee “Colombo Flood Control Committee” has been set up to look in to the flood disasters in Colombo district.

They gather from time to time to discuss the feasibility to mitigate the harm caused to public during the heavy rainy seasons. The ministry has allocated Rs.2 million to develop the area between Panadura to Moratuwa within a 40 feet buffer zone.

Disaster Management committees have been set up in villages to make the rural public aware of natural disasters and how to overcome them. The youth in rural areas should be motivated to participate in this programme to get fruitful results, he added.

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