Sri Lanka to buy Rs.2bn radar to look at clouds

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka will spend 2 billion rupees on a radar to evaluate cloud formation for the artificial rain project, a minister said.

"We currently do not have a radar which can find out accurately how clouds are forming," Primary Industries and Social Empowerment Minister Daya Gamage told reporters in Colombo.

"If we spend 2 billion rupees, we can get the radar," he said.

"I hope to procure the equipment through my ministry, and then we can get rain," he said.

Sri Lanka had begun an artificial rain project under the Ceylon Electricity Board in March 2019 but it was immediately halted after the initial experiment ended in failure.

The experiment, using Thai technology, had attempted to seed clouds with chemicals to create artificial rain, using an aircraft.

Gamage said that his ministry officials had visited China recently to evaluate another type of technology, where the chemicals are delivered from a rocket launched from the ground.

China has also been experimenting with drones to deliver seeding agents to clouds. 

Sri Lanka is prone to extreme weather events such as droughts and floods, with the frequency set to increase due to climate change, according to studies of the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.

Sri Lanka’s agriculture-based dry zone has suffered sucessive droughts, which destroy crops and threaten livelihoods. (Colombo/Aug08/2019)