Climate calamity

Sri Lanka has been going through numerous changes in weather patterns over past couple of years. The worrying factor being that the shifts in weather patterns have been quite extreme.

This has been evident at least during these two years where severe drought was followed by incessant rains which resulted in floods and landslides in several parts of the country. 

Even today, many parts of Sri Lanka have been affected by severe drought which had resulted in reservoirs drying up and agriculture activities affected.

Though Sri Lanka is not the only exception affected by extreme weather conditions, Sri Lankans are probably the worst affected since many depend on weather for agriculture activities.

The people are also affected due to many other reasons which stem from these extreme weather conditions.

Unplanned infrastructure development and illegal constructions have been attributed as the largest reasons behind landslides and floods.

Experts point out that changes in soil equilibrium due to excavation and illegal constructions have been major causes for landslides that had killed dozens in the past two years.

As far as the cities and suburbs are concerned, the people are mostly affected due to unbearable heat which is aggravated due to concrete constructions that absorb heat. While many countries have adopted measures to address the issue by focusing on environmental friendly Sri Lanka is quite far behind in adopting such measures. On the other hand, it would take a lot of effort to change the already existing buildings within Colombo if we are to go for an environment friendly approach.

But, is it fair to blame the climate for the havoc that it wreaks? Aren’t we humans responsible for this? Did we not trigger this cycle? We harmed the environment and now we are paying the price.

Unfortunatley though, people only talk about planting trees and being environment friendly when the sun is scorching. All these talks are washed away the moment it starts to rain.

The impact of the rains is once again blamed on man. We are not the only ones who are going to live on this earth. Our generations too will inhabit this place and therefore it is our duty to protect the environment, and teach our children to do the same.

Published in the Nation on August 20, 2017


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