Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka says Jaffna will be a semi-desert within the next 50 years owing to global warming.
Addressing the media at his ministry yesterday, Minister Ranawaka said: “The Northern and Eastern provinces will face a severe drought situation in the coming years. At this rate due to global warming Jaffna could become a semi-desert within the next 50 years. We call upon those who clamour for a traditional homeland to divert those energies to save their lands first by protecting the environment.
“The prevailing situation in the country compels us to unite for the sake of the country and sink our petty differences. The disaster situation also compels us to learn lessons instead of blaming each other. Hundreds of people have been killed and around six hundred thousand others displaced by the recent disasters.
“One of the main reasons for the bad climate situation is global warming. Another reason is our failure to adopt ways and means of facing possible disasters. There is no proper policy for constructing roads, buildings and making use of lands for cultivation. All mountain ranges have become tea small holdings. Now, it is clear that some mega projects such as the Southern Expressway have been done without proper environmental impact assessments.
“We have already initiated a project to ensure that there will be no more flood situations in Colombo. There are large number of unauthorised constructions along the canals draining storm water. Many lands have been encroached upon. Without solving these problems the project to ensure flood free city are sure to come a cropper.
“We also need correct data on climate and weather. Developed countries avoid destruction and losses of lives by making accurate predictions on the basis of their climate and weather data. The Met Department is providing only general forecasts. The recent disasters indicate that those forecasts cannot sufficiently warn of the forthcoming dangers.