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Disaster assessment must for future projects

*Twenty two types of disaster identified here

*Reports will help identify land for projects

The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) will make the Disaster Impact Assessment (DIA) report compulsory for all future development projects, Director General Major General Gamini Hettiarachchi said. He said this system will help identify suitable land for development projects and will also help to mitigate and prevent disasters to a greater extent.

“Therefore, a national level risk atlas for different hazards in Sri Lanka will be released on line and off line covering areas where droughts prevailed, areas prone to landslides and soil erosion.

“The DIA functioning under the Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister is now finding ways and means to introduce this DIA system in the future projects with assistance from other bodies,” he said.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) along with Government bodies and other stakeholders have compiled a National Disaster Data Base, which also provides information on different vulnerable areas in the country.

It is said that they have identified 22 types of disasters in Sri Lanka.

The introduction of the DIA report system will help to identify suitable lands especially for housing, irrigation and many other development projects in the country.

DMC is working with the National Institute of Education to incorporate Disaster Risk Management in the school curriculum, Major General Hettiarachchi said.

He said that the forthcoming National Symposium on “Promoting Knowledge Transfer to Strengthen Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation” will be an excellent annual event for academics, researchers, professionals and Government officials to present research papers on disaster management. The event will be held from July 6 to 8 at the BMICH.

UNDP Assistant Resident Representative Dr Ananda Mallawatantri said the purpose of this symposium is to prepare people to face future disasters and adapt them for such disaster. One of the important features of this event is to highlight climate change and how to adapt Sri Lankan people to the climate change, he said.

He said we have already seen a high intensity of rain fall, increasing of floods and landslides and long drought periods affecting the agriculture and plantation sector in the country.

This symposium will be the first ever event bringing disaster management related research into one place. This will also help Sri Lanka to plan and adapt to disasters, he said.

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