Sri Lanka to get new flood management law

ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lankan government has approved a new flood management law to replace a nearly 100-year old ordinance and enable collective flood management efforts and better forecasting as it recovers from the latest floods.

The proposed Flood Management Act provides for declaration of flood areas, flood forecasting, preparation of flood maps and infrastructural arrangements and collective flood management efforts, a statement said.

It was required to better protect lives and properties from floods as the existing law does not satisfy the current needs of flood protection and to minimize the effects of flood disasters.

The Cabinet of Ministers this week decided to repeal the Flood Protection Ordinance No. 4 of 1924 which had remained unchanged except for one amendment

The new Flood Management Act has legal provisions for coordinated, cumulative flood management by the Irrigation Department and other institutions to minimize the adverse effects on lives and property, environment and economy due to floods.

“Recent experiences of floods in different parts of the island have demonstrated the necessity of collective management of various types of flood disasters,” the statement said.

These arise not only due to the riverine floods but also floods caused by obstruction of urban and local drainage, overtopping or breach of reservoir dams and coastal floods caused by fluctuations in the sea water level obstructing coastal drainage, it said.

Floods and landslides caused by monsoon rains last month killed over 200 people.
(COLOMBO, June 01, 2017)

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