Farmers complain NE districts ignored in drought relief
[TamilNet, Friday, 13 August 2004, 17:02 GMT]
Drought-stricken farmers in the Trincomalee district have been ignored by the Central Government in providing relief and other facilities which have been offered to their counterparts in the districts of Kurunagala, Anuradhapura, Puttalam, Badulla, Moneragala, Matale and Polonnaruwa in the south of the country, said the Kappalthurai Farmers' Federation (KFF) in the Trincomalee district in a statement issued Friday.
The government has allocated 440 million rupees to provide drought relief to farmers of the districts in the south. But not a single cent has been allocated as drought relief to the farmers in the districts of Trincomalee, Amparai, Kilinochchi, Jaffna, Batticaloa and Mannar in the northeast province, said the KFF statement.
KFF said in its statement that farmers in the Trincomalee district have lost all their resources in the two-decade-old war. In addition to that their crops in 2003 were destroyed due to drought and they are now not in a position to do the oncoming paddy cultivation. Officials concerned and the parliamentarians have not taken any interest in providing drought and other relief to drought-hit farmers in the Trincomalee district, KFF stated in its statement.
Meanwhile the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) Director Mr.N.D.Hettiarachchi has given figures of the drought stricken farmers in the districts of Anuradhapura, Kurunagala, Putalam, Moneragala, Polonnaruwa, Matale and Hambantota in the south but not the affected farmers in the NorthEast province, sources said.
According to NDMC report, the severe drought has left 450,000 families destitute in the districts in the south. The report has not provided the number of families affected due to drought in the northeast.