Over one million people affected by severe drought in Sri Lanka

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Over 1 million people have been affected by severe drought in Sri Lanka with authorities warning the numbers could rise in the coming weeks due to less rainfall.

Sri Lanka's Disaster Management Center said that 18 districts have been affected by the drought and rescue teams were distributing drinking and clean water for the victims.

According to statistics, 1,041,690 people and 251,310 families have been affected by the drought.

President Maithripala Sirisena, on Friday requested all private institutions to limit the use of power by switching off lights that are used for the advertising and decoration purposes of their respective institutions.

The president pointed out that the country has to face a power crisis in the future due to the drought situation in the country and therefore it is the responsibility of all to use the power in an economical manner from now.

A huge amount of power will be utilized for the advertising boards and other decorative electrical systems used by the private institutions at nights, for their advertising purposes and through limitation of this usage, a significant amount of power consumption of the country could be saved, the president pointed out.

He requested everyone to support the initiative of frugal use of power until the effects of the drought are over.

The National Water Supply and Drainage Board also recently warned the general public to refrain from using the water from the Kalu Ganga, one of the largest rivers in Sri Lanka, for drinking water purposes citing that sea water had mixed with the river water due to the prevalent drought.

Sri Lanka's former war torn north has also been severely affected by the drought, Disaster Management officials said. Endit

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