Bad land use in Aranayake led to landslides

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

By Dilrukshi Handunnetti

Excessive clearing of forest and cultivation practices have contributed to making Aranayake and three hillside villages extremely vulnerable to landslides, an expert on landslides told the Sunday Observer.

Director, Landslide Research and Risk Management Division, R. M. Senarath Bandara said poor land use is a serious contributor to landslides, though often overlooked.

Bandara said the entire region should be mapped and declared as a restricted zone with no human activity being permitted.

“The entire slope region in the landslide prone area are not suitable for settlement and should be for agricultural purposes only,” he said, warning that proper land use patterns and a systematic surface drainage systems should be introduced to prevent future problems with similar magnitude.

He said past landslides that have been occurring over a long period of time has furthered weakened the vulnerable zone.

Bandara also said that any construction activities as well as cultivation should be undertaken with care, taking into consideration the level of slope instability.“Clearance from the National Building Research Organization (NBRO) is a prime requisite and local government authorities should comply with the instructions issued through circular number 2011/1/NBRO by the Ministry of Disaster Management,” he said.

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