By Sandun Jayawardana
Sri Lanka has abandoned an initiative to use satellite technology during natural disasters, leaving Rs 72 million worth of equipment unused for four years before finally dismantling it, the Auditor General (AG) has found. The project was initiated in 2011 and given up despite the country facing severe natural disasters in previous years, states the latest report of the AG on the Disaster Management Centre (DMC). The DMC found out that the satellite technology equipment was not compatible with its other systems, only when the full system was installed.
The DMC Director General admitted to the AG that the equipment was bought without first conducting a proper study. The project’s nerve centre was an Information Communication Centre (ICC) established in Padukka under the International Centre for Emergency Techniques based in the Netherlands. Continue reading Weather monitoring: Equipment worth Rs. 72m gone with the wind
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
By Uditha Kumarasinghe
Disaster Management Minister, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said they are now trying to amend the National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) Act and insert a condition that, in future, prior to constructing a house or building NBRO approval should be obtained. However, we don’t want the people inconvenienced, either. We propose to give a time frame for the NBRO and request them to issue the certificate within four weeks. In an interview with the Sunday Observer, the Minister said, at present, there is no Building Code and that they have prepared a document to formulate a new Code. He said, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has pledged to extend support in this regard. We intend to consult all stakeholders and table it in Parliament soon.
Continue reading A catastrophe calling for new strategies
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Originally published in the Sunday Times Editorial
The floods and the landslides in most parts of the country have put a literal dampener on celebrations to mark Vesak, the month that is significant to Buddhists throughout the world. None celebrate the occasion with such gusto as the Sri Lankans.
Nature’s forces are a grim reminder that humanity is at the mercy of such external factors and man can make it worse. In the midst of grandiose plans for a Megapolis in the Western province, thousands of families have been flooded out of their homes or marooned by swirling waters after just two days of incessant rains and some showers thereafter. The death toll is still rising.
Many man-made reasons are attributed to the flooding and landslides, not least haphazard ‘development’, bad urban planning, corruption within local councils and the pressure of population on available land.
Continue reading The need for a Disaster Prevention Ministry
Original Article: Link
Wed, Feb 17, 2016, 11:21 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.
Feb 17, Colombo: The Sri Lankan Government had decided to spend Rs. 1.975 billion to upgrade the facilities at the Department of Meteorology, the Ministry of Disaster Management disclosed.
The government had provided funds for the Meteorology Department to acquire sophisticated high-tech equipment in order to forecast more accurate weather information to the public. The government also plans to provide more human and physical resources to the Department.
Continue reading Sri Lankan government to spend nearly Rs. 2 billion to modernize Meteorology Department