Chapter 1 What is an environmental hazard An environmental hazard is a deadly or injury causing effect originating from natural and human
environment. Occurrence of a hazard results in the destruction of life, property and livelihoods of the community in which it occurs. Two major forces form the environmental hazards. 1. Natural environmental forces 2. Societal environmental forces Natural environmental forces are geologic in nature and encompass cosmological, solar, earth core system, climatic and biological systems in operation. These are identified within the realm of geologic system, because their influence is studied in the time scales of geologic history. Societal environmental hazards originate from the society induced and society made systems. Society induced system is associated with all the areas of interaction between society and natural forces. Society made hazard is either individual or group in nature and they occur when corruption infiltrates the ethical and behavioural domains of the society.
Environmental hazards in context Study of environmental hazards in this book is placed within the context of environmental change. The natural environmental change is a continuous process activated by the earth¶s cosmological and geological evolution. Society is also a constantly changing organisation, which utilises or controls natural and cultural environments. Environmental change is the process of change of the nature and dynamics of space and place. The concept of environmental change emerged from the studies on changing nature of earth systems, like green house gases, ozone depletion, soil erosion, desertification and emergence of new
diseases. The geological forces of the environment create changes in the physical environment and form various types of hazards. Society change space and place through many types of consumption systems from cultivation to recreation and in the present civilisation, culture has become the primary force behind change of natural space and place. Human activities utilise culture to develop space and place and in doing so create a constant competition for places (Sack, 1999). Therefore we can assume that, natural environmental hazard is created or formed when there is a crisis between nature of place and culture, and the societal hazard is formed when there is a conflict between the established forms of culture and new or emerging strands of culture. The historical transformation of human behaviour is recognised as one of the most important factors in the construction of many social responses to environment and concept of hazards. Use of a response model is clearly detailed in Qurantelli (1998). Dale and Robinson (1996) claim that long-term sustainability is a process of reconciliation between ecology, economics and society. The human response to environmental change and hazard is conducted through either adaptation or avoidance. However, total adaptation is not possible and avoidance is extremely expensive. Since 1960s the place of environmental change has become one of the most important approaches in the study of environment. The global plate tectonics and study of Quarternary history has changed our understanding to be more scientific and now all global environmental problems can be addressed through the utilisation of this concept (Slaymaker and Spencer, 1998). New strands of culture Ethnic identity, feminist thinking and human rights has also introduced many new social perspectives on hazards. These are more important in the developing world where there is a deeper connection between environment and social groups based on ethnicity, women play a more crucial role in the survival of family and human rights are constantly violated.
For example in Sri Lanka, the social group associated with the coast, where fishing is the major occupation is stricken with poverty due to high level of hazardous nature in their occupation. In the tea plantations the work force most exposed to continuous wetness (as they walk among the dew filled tea bushes) is women and respiratory ailments are more common among them. Most of the poor live in marginal areas and when they are faced with hazards, relief and compensation is not provided on a free and fare basis, because of corruption in the public and private sector organisations in Sri Lanka. However the fishermen and farmers in the developed world are not poor and are less exposed to hazards, basically due to existence of a less hazardous social system, which warn of an incoming hazard and provide proper relief when a hazard occurs. Then it is clear that the social organisation is of paramount importance in the study, preparation and recovery from hazards. History of the study of environmental hazards The history of impact of environmental hazards is noted since the beginning of organised agriculture and living in a defined environment. It is because the effect of any hazard is felt and society feels injured or damaged when people have a definite place to live. Modern study on environmental hazards began through the study of natural hazards in the middle part of twentieth century within the domain of physical geographers. Natural hazards were discussed in geology, engineering and agricultural sciences within the topics of geological evolution ( Hutton, 1937 and Strahler and Strahler, 1976). Gilbert White (1936 and 1945) and Smith (2001) produced the social perspective to the study of natural hazards. Geographers led the hazard based approach and sociologists were using a disaster based approach ( Mileti et al, 1995). 1973-74 killer drought of the Sahel brought about a new thinking on hazards and the effect of drought, disastrous cyclones and earthquakes in the decade of 1970 brought awareness on natural hazards to world organisations. White (1974), White and Hass (1975) and Burton (1978) were primarily responsible for the development of thought on natural
hazards. The studies conducted by the author from 1974 to 2005 in Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, Nigeria and Norway, on the effect of climatic change and migration in Sahel, climatic change and social destabilisation in Sri Lanka and hazard preparedness in Sri Lanka is also used in the formation of this presentation. The above studies were conducted using the primary methodology of White (1974). The rapid rise in population in the developing world between 1970 and 1980 made the impact of natural hazards more exposed to the global academic and research community. Introduction of personal computers and formation of Internet made the exchange of information a norm in the study of sciences. The rapidly rising population in the developing world is settled in marginal land where impact of hazards are felt more and number of deaths and injured have increased to alarming heights. The death toll from 1973-74 Sahel drought were in the millions, most of the dead in the 1970 Bangladesh cyclone were poor living on the beach front, majority of the 1976 China earthquake victims were living in mud houses. By 1980s hazards were also making an impact in Europe and USA where high living standards were a norm. This trend continued into 1980s and terrorism and rogue states became places of killing grounds of many innocent people in cross fire. Between 1 and 2 million non-active population were killed and wounded between 1980 and 2000 by acts of terrorism. The rise of religious fundamentalism added another dimension to hazards studies. The study of hazards became the domain of all types of scientists and institutions. The UN began the formation of disaster response teams (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR) and USA established FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). Soon all the developed countries joined USA with the establishment of their own national and some times regional hazard response organisations. The emergence of new diseases and their rapid spread added another dimension to hazards studies. Impact of Influenza epidemics, Malaria, Polio and HIV Aids on populations of the developing world made the developed world to wonder about the destructive power of disease in a globalised world. The fast aeroplanes and easy immigration laws in the 1990s
increased the risk of spread of communicable diseases in the developed world. Reports of Malaria in and around the airports of the developed countries and suspicion of transportation of animal disease viruses by dust laden wind from the desertification of Sahel, brought another important perspective to the study of hazards. Hazard Management By the time we entered the latter half of the 20st century society has become an extremely powerful force, affecting nature and its dynamics leading to chaotic behaviour of natural things. In addition society was changing so rapidly a crisis was formed between the established norms and ethics and change. This change of living environment became a great challenge to science and other belief systems of the society. Most of the population of the world live on flood plains and coastal lowlands. Alaskan Tsunami, Hurrican Andrew and Northridge earthquake in USA, Kobe earthquake in Japan and the south Asian Tsunami of 2004, showed the depth of vulnerability of human population to natural environmental hazards. Poverty and ethnic cleansing in Africa, globalised terrorism and gluttony of the elite in developing countries have become more hazardous than the natural environmental hazards causing massive loss of wealth. The emergence of management science led to the formation of many types of management systems, which were capable of providing answers to environmental hazards. Environment also became a focus of management as the demand for natural resources have risen to unimaginable heights. The experiments conducted in countries like Switzerland, which utilised its scenic beauty to earn about 65 percent of its annual foreign exchange revenue and Finland, which managed to become a country with highest standard of living through forestry showed that the proper management of the natural and human environment is able to develop a country. Techniques like forest harvesting, spring regeneration and rainwater harvesting also showed that there is great capability in existing resources. This type of thinking led to the idea that hazards can be managed and the
loss of property and life can be minimised with the use of scientific management. It is estimated that between January 2000 and December 2005, about 25 to 30 billion US dollars of property damage was prevented and 300 lives were saved through the application of hazard management techniques in USA. The best story comes from the south Asian Tsunami of December 2004, in which a schoolteacher from Eastern Sri Lanka saved about 40 people from drowning, because he read about the warning signs of Tsunami (that water recedes before the onslaught of the big Tsunami wave) in a journal article about 4 years before the day of the Tsunami. Every hazard has a level to which it can be managed and today most of the societies have access to these systems of management and it is the intention of this book to provide a very simple insight in to the knowledge of environmental hazards. References Burton, I., Kates,R.W., and White, G.F. 1993 The Environment as Hazard, 2nd edition, New York and London, Guilford Press; 1st edition, 1978. Dale, A. and Robinson, J. (eds), 1996, Achieving Sustainable Development, Vancouver, University of British Columbia Press. Hutton, J. , 1795, Theory of the earth, William Creech, Edinburgh. Meyer, W.B. , 1996, Human Impact on Earth, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Mileti, D.S. , Darlington, J.D., Passerini,E., Forrest, B.C. and Myers, M.F. 1995 Towards an integration of natural hazards and sustainability. Environmental Professional 17: 117-26. et al, 1995). Quarentlli, E.L. ed. 1998 What is a Disaster? , London and New York: Routledge. Slaymaker, O. and Spencer, T. 1998, Physical Geography and Global Environmental Change, London, Longman.
Smith, K., 2001, Environmental hazards: Assessing Risk and Reducing Disaster, Routledge, London. Strahler, A.N. and Strahler, A.H., 1976, Elements of Physical Geography, John Wiley, London. White, G.F. 1936 The limit of economic justification for flood protection Journal of Land and Public Utility Economics 12:133-48 White,G.F. 1945 Human Adjustment to Floods: A geographical Approach to the Flood Problem in the United States, Research Paper 29. Chicago, IL: Department of Geography, University of Chicago. White, G.F. 1974 Natural hazards: Local,National,Global. New York: Oxford University Press. White, G.F. and Hass, G.E. 1975 Assessment of research on natural hazards, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Types of Environmental Hazards Types of hazards are identified in this book under three major categories: Geological, Man Induced and Manmade. However, it should be always remembered that the three categories are interconnected by many feed-in and feed-back systems, which do not allows any single field of study to be masters of the study of environmental hazards. This complex relationship demands just one factor: the study group on environmental hazards should consist of field scientists who can relate well with people probable to be affected by environmental hazards. Sometimes these scientists should be able to relate to and take note of belief systems, elder¶s predictions and animal behaviour in a given society. Table 2/1, indicates the major points of origin, time line and scale of destruction as identified in this book, which will be used in the detailed presentation. Table2/1, Types, presence and spatiality of environmental hazards Type Presence Spatiality Local to global Local to Global Local to Global Global Local to Regional Local to Regional Global Global Regional Regional
Geological Space Debris All the time Global Meteorites All the time Magnetic Fluctuations Any time Pole shift Any time Solar Flair Any time Magnetic storm Any time Earth Interior System failure Any time Plate tectonics All the time Mountain Building Cyclic Isostasy Cyclic
Type Earthquakes Earth tremors Subsidence Climatic Change Climatic Oscillations Drought Flood Landslide Tornado Blizzard Dust storm Biological evolution Species Extinction Species reduction Technological Man Induced Type Cultivation Construction ± Settlement Roads Buildings Recreation ± Man Made Type Corruption Gluttony Madness
Presence Sudden Sudden Sudden Cyclic Cyclic Intermittent Intermittent Intermittent Intermittent Intermittent Intermittent Evolutionary Evolutionary Evolutionary Evolutionary
Spatiality Local Local Local Regional to Global Regional Local to Regional Local to Regional Local Local Local Local Local to Global Local to Global Local to global Local to Global
Presence Evolutionary Evolutionary Evolutionary Evolutionary Evolutionary
Spatiality Local, Regional, Global Local, Regional, Global Local, Regional, Global Local, Regional, Global Local, Regional, Global
Presence Evolutionary Self Self
Spatiality Global Global Global
*data for the table was collected from media and public records are taken from, newspapers, television and radio. Public records are from National Health Bulletins, many types of study reports on hazards by various government and non-governmental organisations and field studies and papers published by the author. The study of hazard is not only directed towards the understanding of these mysterious things, but to find a way of safeguarding life and property in an increasingly crowded world. Geological Geological hazards are the hazards originating from the activities of cosmological and geological forces which begin from the construction of Space. Space consists of galaxies, solar systems, meteorites, asteroids, planets and moons. In between these objects, there are large regions of matter in state of gas and uncondensed matter. All these objects are moving away from the centre of creation since the Big Bang. Space Debris Space debris is falling to the surface of the earth all the time in all the locations. The average amount is calculated to be about 200 tons per day. Most of this debris is harmless, but some streaks of hot material have produced injuries and started forest fires. Most of this type of space debris is pieces of meteorites. Historically large sized space debris has fallen to the earth causing regional destruction since the beginning of civilisation. In Siberain taiga on June 30, 1908, the report of the eyewitnesses is that a fireball nearly as bright as the Sun fell to earth. This explosion was so great that it registered on seismic stations across Eurasia. The damage was high but there are no deaths reported. An eyewitness description ³At 7:20 AM, a mighty noise was heard resolving into thunder cracks, though the sky was cloudless at the time. The noise caused houses to shake. Many inhabitants saw "a fiery
body like a beam" shoot from the northwest above the ground before they heard the thunder. Immediately afterward the bang was heard, and in the place the fiery body had disappeared, a "tongue of fire" appeared, followed by smoke´ The scientific investigation could not find any piece of the meteorite as it was melted on impact, but they only saw the imprint of the catastrophe-- fallen trees, scorched and stripped bare, strewn radially away from the explosion's epicentre (http://www.totse.com). The most recent event of meteorite hit in Sri Lanka is reported from Pulasthipura, Polonnaruwa ( http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2004/12/05/new22.html) This was a rare type iron meteorite and X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometry analysis and several other tests, revealed that it consists of elements Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe and Zn. The weight was 47.015 kg with a 4.75 specific gravity. It fell at Sankabodhi Viharaya, Pulasthipura, Polonnaruwa on November 27 around 1.20 p.m The probability of fall of space debris of the size which can cause death and damage property is rare and human are helpless in the event. These debris fall at the speed of light and so far people have not been able to develop technology to counter this activity. However the ³Star Wars´ programme of USA is monitoring all space debris and they are capable of giving an early warning to the world in case of large debris directed towards earth from space. Polar wandering Polar wandering is a rare cosmological event, which is supplemented by paleoclimatic and paleomagnetic evidence. To geologists, the words 'polar wandering' has two distinctly different meanings. That's partially because 'pole' can refer to the magnetic pole or to the geographic pole. The polar wandering was ain conflict with continental drift for some time, but now the crisis is over with the identification of the two processes in separate form. In any case, many geologists go no further than saying that it appears there was some sort of shift in the pole position. But since the magnetic poles and geographical poles are so close
together, maybe it happened and maybe it didn't. Wegner's idea was that the continents did the moving, drifting through the oceanic crust and pushing up mountain ridges ahead of them as they moved. (http://www.poleshift.org) The probability of polar wandering which can cause death and damage to property is rare and human are helpless in the event. The major impact is change in gravity and regional climate of the world. The destruction is a slow and a gradual process. Solar Flair A flare is defined as a sudden, rapid, and intense variation in brightness and heat associated with it. This occurs when magnetic energy that has built up in the solar atmosphere is suddenly released. Radiation is emitted across virtually the entire electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves at the long wavelength end, through optical emission to x-rays and gamma rays at the short wavelength end. The amount of energy released is the equivalent of millions of 100-megaton hydrogen bombs exploding at the same time (hesperia.gsfc.nasa.gov/sftheory/flare.htm). Solar flares have the ability to create heat waves, increase thunderstorms and effect climatic change. The immediate damage from solar flares is loss of satellite communications due to electronic damage caused by the flares to their equipment. Magnetic storms Magnetic storms are of many types. The lightning storms are the most common and they will be discussed under lightning at a latter place. In here the magnetic storms resulting from solar disturbances are studied. A magnetic storm is a period of rapid magnetic field variation (http://interactive2.usgs.gov). Magnetic storms have the ability to create heat waves, increase thunderstorms and effect climatic change. The immediate damage from solar flares is loss of satellite communications due to electronic damage caused by the flares to their sensors. The large-scale solar flares have the
capability to destroy the climatic balance of the atmosphere and finally make earth inhabitable. Earth Interior System failure The core of the earth acts like the rod of a dynamo, the fluid outer core circles around this solid core and produce all the radioactive energy required to construct the repelling of microwaves coming from space and sun. If the outer core movement stops micro-wave radiation to enter the atmosphere creating heavy magnetic storms, which can gradually destroy all life forms within a period of about 3 years (http://www.sciencenews.org and Baker, 1999). Plate tectonics In geologic terms, a plate is a large, rigid slab of solid rock. The word tectonics comes from the Greek root "to build." Putting these two words together, we get the term plate tectonics, which refer to how the Earth's surface is built of plates. The theory of plate tectonics states that the Earth's outermost layer is fragmented into a dozen or larger and small plates that are moving relative to one another as they ride atop hotter, more mobile material. Before the advent of plate tectonics, however, some people already believed that the present-day continents were the fragmented pieces of preexisting larger landmasses ("super continents"). The break-up of the super continent Pangaea (meaning "all lands" in Greek), which figured prominently in the theory of continental drift -- the forerunner to the theory of plate tectonics. According to the continental drift theory, the super continent Pangea began to break up about 225-200 million years ago, eventually fragmenting into the continents, as we know them today. Scientists now have a fairly good understanding of how the plates move and how such movements relate to earthquake activity. Most movement occurs along narrow zones between plates where the results of plate-tectonic forces are most evident. There are three major types of plate boundaries. At divergent boundaries new crust is formed as the plates pull away from each other and, crust is destroyed
as one plate dives under another along divergent boundaries and the crust is neither produced nor destroyed as the plates slide horizontally past each other at transform boundaries. At or along all these types of boundaries faults are formed and the pressure from the plate movement is released through these faults. When excessive pressure is accumulated it is released in vibrating wave from the center of the pressure point under the plate. If these vibrations are felt at the surface of the earth we identify them as earthquakes (http://pubs.usgs.gov). These activities form earth movements leads to mountain building, isostatic imbalance, earthquakes, earth tremors and subsidence. Then these activities will affect climate through emissions of carbon dioxides. Mountain building type earth movements will destroy the earth on a continental scale and human habitation will not be possible. These movements will involve mountain building, massive plate collisions and volcanic activity similar to the time of Himalaya Mountain Building about 30 to 40 million years ago. This activity occur every 30 to 40 million years and the next episode of mountain building will begin soon. However the term ³soon´ in geological time scales is about 100,000 years from now.
Isostatic imbalance Isostatic imbalance occurs when plate boundaries sink by mountain building and buoyancy of the crust begins to lift the plate when mountain building ends. This is a slow process but can affect large areas of the plate. These occur immediately after earth movements or release of ice sheets. In Northern Europe melting of ice sheets have led to the rise of land by about 12 to 15 meters in the last 30,000 to 40,000 years. In Sri Lanka the present location of the beach between Kalpitiya and Galle was lifted out of the seabed during the last 100,000 years. In some places the coral reefs are slowly rising by about 1 centimetre every 10 years. The effect of
slow rises and fall of the plate surface results in subsidence and faulting
Earthquakes Earthquakes are the most disastrous environmental hazards, which lead to total destruction of the environment and people within a space of seconds. These are formed due to sudden release of accumulated pressure in the plate boundaries, which then travel along already existing fault lines or fault lines formed by the quake itself. In addition earthquakes can occur in and around hot spots (where magma plumes can rise through the mantle) of the earth where heat from the core of the earth is released through magma flumes. Sri Lanka is not situated in an earthquake zone, but it is surrounded by many plate boundaries, which produce powerful earthquakes. To the west is the Carlsberg Ridge, to the east is Sunda Trench and to the north and north east is the Karakoram ± Arakan Yoma boundary. There have been three destructive earthquakes and one massive volcanic explosion in this region, in the last two years making it the most active region in the world. Estimate deaths since 2004-12-26 Sumatra Earthquake is about 50,000 and death toll from the Tsunami resulting from the 2004 ± 12- 26 Sumatra earthquake is estimated to be 245,000 (Discovery, 2006).There were about 9 tremors felt between 1998 September to 2006 June 1st in Sri Lanka as recorded from media reports and geological Survey media reports. A few geologists working in the field in Sri Lanka agree that the area around Sri Lanka is becoming more active than in the past. Anyhow, Sri Lanka will have to face earthquakes, but we do not know when. Aalawathugoda- Ragala tremor, September 1997, About 7.30 pm on the 26th of September 1997, a powerful tremor went along the region between Alawathugoda to Ragala. The day after a field visit was made to the area, which revealed that there were very minor breakages of domestic items and slight falls of rock fragments and soil on
unstable cuttings. At one place the glass showcase was cracked and another place the newly constructed toilet was tilted. A detailed article was sent to Dinamina News Paper (Seneviratne, 1997). The crystalline basement of Sri Lanka was shaken during the 20041226 earth quake which caused the South Asian Tsunami and people at Madawala Ulpotha and Ukuwela reported of muddy water in the underground springs in the area and some tremor was also felt. ( Plate 1) Volcanoes Volcanoes are distributed over the Earth's surface along the plate boundaries or on hot spots. The line of volcanoes in the Pacific Rim area is identified as ³Ring of Fire", where more than half the active volcanoes are present. In the past 25 years, scientists have developed a theory called plate tectonics, which explains the locations of volcanoes and their behaviour (http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov). Volcanoes and their behaviour are now fairly well understood and most of the dangerous volcanoes are monitored 24 hours a day. The reason for people living close to and in around volcanoes are that the area around them is with highly fertile soil and volcanoes bring lot of tourist money. Great and Little Bases (Maha and Kuda Rawana Kotuwa) situated in the southeastren corner of Sri Lanka are identified as extinct volcanoes, but the risk of explosion in them are considered to be negligible. Climatic Change Climatic change or change in the present pattern of climate is a result of the change of earth¶s geological and human environment, which exerts pressure on elements and factors of climate. Since 1960s the change in the climate began to affect people through drought, flood and increase in thunderstorms and tornadoes. The world organisations joined the study, research and rehabilitation programmes in the 1970s and today it is one of the major discussion topics in science and global programmes. A detailed discussion on the effect of climate change and its impact on Sri Lanka is presented in Table 2/2, Tables CST/1 to CST 4 and CS P 1 to
CSP 5 Table 2/2 The following consequences are associated with climatic change*
Consequences Long term drought ± more than 5years Annual drought Seasonal drought Agricultural drought ± affect crop cultivation Shortage in drinking water supply Desertification ± encroachment of desert or loss of top soil through dust storms Loss of species Global status Few areas ± 5percent of the area Many areas ± 30 % of the area Large area Very Large area ± maximum of 45 % of the area Very large area ± maximum of 70 percent of the area Many areas ± maximum of 20 percent of the area Sri Lanka Not present
25 % of the area 40 percent of the area 60 percent of the area 60 percent of the area 5 percent of the area
New diseases and increase in some of the old diseases Effect of high intensity thunderstorms Tornadoes Seasonal climatic stability Average wind speeds Dust storms Fight for water International disagreements
Very large area maximum of 60 percent of the area Very large area ± maximum of 30 percent Rapidly increasing
25 percent of the area 25 percent of the area Rapidly increasing
Rapidly increasing Broken Increased Increased Locally begun Begun
Rapidly increasing Broken Increased Increased Noted by some researchers May affect in future
* data for the table was collected from media and public records are taken from, newspapers, television and radio. Public records are from National Health Bulletins, many types of study reports on hazards by various government and non-governmental organisations and field studies and papers published by the author.
Climate of Sri Lanka (Seneviratne, 2004) The following case study indicates the nature of climatic change identified by many researchers in Sri Lanka, which can change the nature, occurrence and impact of environmental hazards. Two major systems of rain formation (monsoon system - inter-monsoonal convection and tropical convergence activity) are identified in the presentation.
Table CST 1- Southwest Monsoon
PROCESS South-west monsoon Monsoon is an air mass with a massive amount of stratus clouds. These clouds are pushed by the upper atmospheric trade winds and reach Sri Lanka riding on wave disturbances. They form overcast sky and rainy spells with moderate intensity long duration rain. A few rainy days are broken by a dry spell of two to three days. Stages of the Monsoon 1. Arrive in the island in the beginning of June and stay active till the middle of September. 2. The burst of the monsoon (the strong wind currents and heavy rain occurs around 10 to 15th June. (sometimes the burst will not occur like in 2001 and 2002). A break may occur in August. 4. In some inland areas the stratus clouds will encourage the growth of cumulus clouds strong enough to activate Thunderstorms. NATURE The tropical maritime air mass (massive and a powerful climatic scenario) moves over the island in a south-west north- east direction between may and September. Enters the island from the south-west and run to the western hills. The system originates in the southern Indian ocean/ deflected by the coriolis force/ pulled by the heat cell formed in the north Indian plains and Thar surface low pressure/ monsoon air mass drifts over Sri Lanka loosing height and converging on the south western and western faces of the central hill country. IMPORTANCE The most readily awaited rainfall process in Sri Lanka, which brings rain to all the upper catchment areas of the major rivers ± Mahaweli 60 percent/ Kelani 80 percent/ Kalu 80 percent/Walawe 40 percent/ Maha oya 80 percent/ Ging 80 percent The source of water for the cultivation of wet paddy in the wet zone and irrigated paddy in most of the newly established settlements in the dry zone. Supports the plantation system in the hill and mountain country of Sri Lanka. The spice cultivation and the vegetable and fruit cultivation depend heavily on it. Can be called the lifeblood of the nation. Causes floods in the western lowlands. The western mountains are subjected to prolonged rain, which causes landslides and gravel flow on steep slopes. The time of the monsoon is the period of heavy soil erosion in the area affected by it. PRESENT STATUS AND CHANGE The global climatic change has seriously affected the regularity, reliability and the rainfall status of the south west monsoon. The prime reason for the above situation stems from the effect of Ozone hole and El Nino and La Nina scenarios. These elements affect the direction of flow and the quantity of water vapor supplied to the air mass. The open air nuclear testing in the south pacific in the 1950-60s may have caused the primary damage and is being accelerated by global warming. The strength of the south westerlies may be weakened in the next 50 to 100 years as predicted by the climatologists.
Table CST 2/ Northeast Monsoon
PROCESS North ± east Monsoon is an air mass which draws moisture from the Bay of Bengal on its way from the Central Asia to the equatorial low pressure. These clouds are pushed by the upper atmospheric trade winds and reach Sri Lanka riding on wave disturbances. They form overcast sky and rainy spells with moderate intensity long duration rain. A few rainy days are broken by a dry spell of two to three days. Stages of the Monsoon 1. Arrive in the island in the beginning of November and stay active till the middle of March. In some inland areas the stratus clouds will encourage the growth of cumulus clouds strong enough to activate Thunderstorms. North-east monsoon is a weaker air mass than the south-west monsoon. NATURE A result of the tropical maritime air mass moving over the island in a north-east /southwest direction between November and February. The system originates in the Siberian high pressure/ deflected by the coriolis force/ pulled by the heat cell formed in the equator drifts over Sri Lanka loosing height and converging on the North eastern plains and the hill and mountain ranges of the eastern highlands. IMPORTANCE The most readily awaited rainfall process in the eastern lowlands and mountains of Sri Lanka, which brings rain to all the upper catchment areas of the major rivers ± Loggal oya, Badulu oya, Uma Oya, Maduru oya Gal oya, Menik ganga. In addition this brings rain to the reservoir system of the North, north central, Eastern and Uva provinces of Sri Lanka. The source of water for the cultivation of wet paddy in the dry and intermediate zones and irrigated paddy in most of the newly established settlements in the dry zone. Supports the cultivation of many types of vegetables and fruits of the eastern lowlands and hills. Causes floods in the western lowlands. The western mountains are subjected to prolonged rain, which causes landslides and gravel flow on steep slopes. The time of the monsoon is the period of heavy soil erosion in the area affected by it. PRESENT STATUS AND CHANGE The global climatic change has seriously affected the regularity, reliability and the rainfall status of the northeast monsoon. The prime reason for the above situation stems from the effect of El Nino and La Nina scenarios. These elements affect the direction of flow and the quantity of water vapour supplied to the air mass. This is a result of the global warming. The strength of the north easterlies may be weakened in the next 50 to 100 years as predicted by the climatologists.
Inter-monsoon periods There are two inter-monsoon periods in the climatic regime of Sri Lanka. 1. October to November ± Thunderstorm and Depressions (Cyclonic activity) 2. March to May - Thunderstorm and wave disturbances (weak depressions) October to November ± Thunderstorm and Depressions (Cyclonic activity) Table CST3/ October to November ± Thunderstorms and Depressions
PROCESS Thunderstorms of Sri Lanka originate from the sea-land breeze activity or the water vapour supplied by the easterly waves of the tropical convergence. Cyclonic activity is rare in the Weather of Sri Lanka, but the depressions originating in the Bay Of Bengal area can develop into cyclonic status. These cyclones generally travel across Sri Lanka in a south-easterly/ north westerly direction along a line from Batticaloa to Mannar. Sometime the powerful waves can affect the wide valleys of the highlands. NATURE Most of the thunderstorms are of moderate intensity, but some of them can be deep and rise to a height of 6 to 10 kilometres and produce heavy lightning and torrential rain. Cyclonic rain is heavy and winds can damage property and lives. They cause damaging flash floods and mud flows. IMPORTANCE The thunderstorms are an important element of rain in the intermediate zone. They provide a valuable component of heavy rain to these areas. However they can activate heavy erosion and landslides. PRESENT STATUS AND CHANGE It has been noted that the intensity of thunderstorm rain has increased as a result of global warming. The global warming has reduced the frequency and intensity of cyclones in recent past.
Table CST4/ Thunderstorm and wave disturbances
March to May - Thunderstorm and wave disturbances (weak depressions)
PROCESS Thunderstorms of Sri Lanka originate from the sea-land breeze activity or the water vapour supplied by the easterly waves of the tropical convergence. The wave disturbances form the pre-monsoon rains, which sometime resemble a mini-monsoon. These generally travel across Sri Lanka either from the south west to north east (riding the front of the southwesterlies) or enter Sri Lanka from the east riding the equatorial easterlies. These last for a maximum of 2 to 3 days and bring considerable rain.
NATURE Most of the thunderstorms are of moderate intensity, but some of them can be deep and rise to a height of 6 to 10 kilometres and produce heavy lightning and torrential rain. Wave disturbances bring moderate rain.
IMPORTANCE The thunderstorms are an important element of rain in the intermediate zone. They provide a valuable component of heavy rain to these areas. However they can activate heavy erosion and landslides.
PRESENT STATUS AND CHANGE It has been noted that the intensity of thunderstorm rain has increased as a result of global warming. The global warming has not much affected this wave disturbances type activity.
Drought Drought is the state of insufficiency of water in the environment for cropping, domestic, commercial and industrial uses. The detailed effect of drought is explained well in the reference articles given in this book. Drought cannot be fully controlled, but its damages can be minimised through strict conservation practises and application of local recycling methods supported by strict regulations. The occurrence of drought in Sri Lanka is a well-researched topic, but most calculations of damages have not taken into account of the social cost, loss to community and cost of livelihoods lost. Information on the effect of drought is presented in the Tables CST/1 to CST 4 and CS P 1 to CSP 5. More information is available under management of drought in Chapter 5. Flood Flood is the state of water overflowing the river or stream channel causing damages to human lives and property. It is estimated about 35 percent of the population of the world and 89 percent of all the big cities (over one million people) are located on riverbanks. It is possible to control normal flooding which is an overflow of about 1 meter above bank level. However any flood with more than 1meter flood level is extremely difficult to control, unless heavy concrete protection systems are placed. ( Refer to CSP 1 to 5). Landslides Landslide is the commonly given name for many types of slope failure in many locations under many types of climatological and geological conditions. Landslides are triggered either by heavy rainfall, water logging and earthquakes. Landslides of various sizes from a rock fall to massive landslide are the second most damaging environmental hazard in Sri Lanka after drought. Daily on the average about 200 cubic meters of material fall into road surfaces from the cuttings and average of about a billion rupees are spent annually on clearing this debris by various government authorities. This is a result of constant contest between society and nature in Sri Lanka, where the standards of road construction are forgotten and roadside drainage is normally blocked by filling of the drain to gain access to
home, parking vehicles, construction of a sub road, storing building material etc. In an intensive survey conducted along A9 from Kandy to Palapathwela the roadside drain was blocked in 631 places and three minor landslides, which blocked the free flow of traffic was recorded. In addition, large scale landslides in Sri Lanka occur in the areas where abandoned plantations or deep weathered regoliths are present.
Table 2/3 Major types of activities identified commonly as landslides
Type Landslide Mass Movement ± rapid 60 to 80 km/hr Mud slide
Material A mixture of rock, soil regolith and vegetation
Activated by Heavy rain, water logging and earthquakes. Societal factor - Deforestation and cultivation of steep slopes, mining
Most recent best example in Sri Lanka Naketiya/ BeragalaKoslanda road ±activated by water logging and heavy rain
Primarily a fluid mixture of rock, soil, regolith and vegetation Primarily a fluid mixture of gravel Collapse of a block of earth Slow sliding of a block of earth Instantaneous fall of rock
Heavy rain, water logging and earthquakes Societal factor ± Deforestation and cultivation of steep slopes, mining Heavy rain in desert and thawing of snow in nival (snow) areas Heavy rain or undercut by a stream or river Societal factor - Deforestation and cultivation of steep slopes, mining Water logging, saturation of weak underlying rock Societal factor - Deforestation and cultivation of steep slopes, mining Rock weathering ± Societal factor - Deforestation and cultivation of steep slopes, mining
Puwakgahawela / Belihuloya-Badulla road ± activated by heavy rain and rock fall
Gravel slide Slump Creep Rock fall
CSP 1 Climatic change and its effect on Sri Lanka (Seneviratne and Karunaratne, 2003) Present global climate is defined here as the climate of the decade 1980-2000. This period witnessed the highest level of development in climatology, since its origin in the early part of 19th century. The development of digital recorders and use of weather satellites to view the earth globally has enabled climatologists to understand the global picture better than ever before. In summary global climate and environment was in a time of change in the decade of 1990 to 2000 and the changes in climatic phenomena identified in the early 1980s were confirmed by research conducted in this period. The following global components of climate were identified in detail during this period. 1. Greenhouse effect 2. Ozone depletion 3. El Nino and La Nina 4. Change in ocean circulation Greenhouse effect is the primary mover of the change in earth¶s climate. Ozone depletion and EL Nino and La Nina are primarily a result of global warming which leads to the formation of greenhouse effect. Change in ocean circulation is partially geological but at present it is accelerated by greenhouse effect. Sri Lanka Climatology is a poorly developed science in Sri Lanka as there is no national policy on the study of climatic change, drought, flood and storm rainfall damage control. It is believed by many that the lukewarm attitude of policy makers towards climatic change arises from lack of understanding of the dynamics of nature and the value of integrated studies on environment. This has resulted in the annual loss of lives and property, which affect the gradual development of local and regional communities and sometimes the national plans for economic development through massive damage to environment as in case of 2003 floods.
Firstly, research conducted on climate and its regional variation, seasonality and agro-climatic significance is rare due to non-availability of equipment and trained personnel. The present group of scientists concentrates their efforts either on impact studies and human interface rather than the basic nature of change and predictability. This is a result of lack of experienced climatologists in the field and the domination of meteorology and climatology by pure science oriented personnel, who have a limited knowledge in spatiotemporality of climate change. Universities in Sri Lanka are not conducting technical research due to absence of field climatologists, though there are many that study impact and weather phenomena. Secondly, increase of damage due to climate events occurs due to very low literacy on spatio-temporality of climate in the general population and policy makers. This low literacy emanates from the lack of a proper place for climatic events of local environment in GCE (OL) and GCE (AL) levels of education. Thirdly the database is poor due to lack of data from many sensitive locations in the scenario of climatic change in Sri Lanka, specially intermediate and dry zones. Agriculture, power supply and communications suffer regularly due to lack of knowledge on local events and low literacy on climate. The occurrence of annual and seasonal droughts cannot be predicted due to lack of studies on climatic change in Sri Lanka and its immediate surroundings. The seasonal droughts account for about 60 to 70 per cent of the crop failures and about two to three suicides among farmers annually. The suicides occur among the farmers who have become heavily indebted and unable to settle their loans due to repeated loss of crops due to seasonal drought. The impact of this type of crop failure are mostly not recorded in regular surveys in detail and downplayed by the media, which affect about a 200,000 farmer families every year. The primary reason for this type of failure is poor prediction of water availability, which depends on seasonal rainfall.
Police and judicial records indicate struggles for water due to seasonal drought result in civil and criminal disturbances in most of the resettlement projects in Sri Lanka, which sometimes involve the local political authority. Recently, there was a case of a politico and a group of his supporters breaking locks on weirs in Kala Oya irrigation system. These are the beginnings of new group of conflicts related to water in Sri Lanka. One of the reasons for the present crisis in hydropower generation in Sri Lanka is non-adherence to the long-term predictions on climatic change and seasonal variation of rainfall as proposed by the global climatic database from 1970 to 1990. Today all the hydro power plants in Sri Lanka work under-capacity for more than nine months of the year and the industry is yet to find a solution to power crisis. Power lines and telephone lines suffer heavily from their inability to withstand pressure exerted by moderate thunderstorm winds as these are designed without much consideration to average wind speeds. It is common to hear from the authorities that the reason for the power failure or telephone failure is either the equipment is under floods or the line is damaged by falling poles or trees. Therefore the present relationship between climate and man in Sri Lanka is a story of helplessness and misery. Lessons to learn A recent visit to Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Finland and Norway enabled one of the authors observe the attempts made by these countries to find solutions to increased intensity of snow fall and rain storms one author had the opportunity of joining two field visits in Norway to observe the solutions used by climatologists and hydrologists in the increase of infiltration and percolation in some problem catchments. In Norway there is a long-term decline in the mean annual snowfall, which provides most of the water needs for the generation hydro-electricity. The critical areas of study are based on a well organized and managed rural conservation built upon small administrative areas known as communes (equal to District Councils in Sri Lanka). The individual unit of operation was lowered to the
level of household, which was systematically controlled and helped to maintain the best possible level of run off control. The control of the smallest to large streams by forestation or maintaining a thick grass and herb cover on the steep slopes are supported by very strict laws. The law-breakers are subjected to heavy fines and sometimes prison sentences. This was made possible by the division of ownership of forests and grassland on a jointly owned basis by the State and an individual. Almost all the farmland in Norway is privately owned, but the forests or grassland are of the perimeter farmland can be used by the seasonal traveler to these areas, provided that they obey the laws, with regard to berry picking, tourism and hiking. One author went on a berry picking tour with his friend and observed how the people come and pick berries, without damaging the environment. The forests are well maintained and used on the principle of forest harvesting, which provides a continuous growth and an economic value. The urban areas were well managed with a network of storm drains, which enabled the storm rainfall to be gradually sent back to the rivers, streams or fjords. This has resulted in the prevention of the destruction of springs and small streams in the rural areas and the damage to power distribution and telephone lines. On the basis of this knowledge, it is timely to say that Sri Lanka belongs to a group of countries where very little attention is paid to increase infiltration and regularized disposal of storm water in an era of increased intensity of storms and changing climate. The above mentioned developed countries have carried out the conservation measures in parallel to the maximum utilization of land. In these countries all the land is well utilized within a framework of legislation and scientific use of land. Though there are problems of land use in these areas, they are reduced to minimum through the use of scientific knowledge. Water resources exist on the principles of hydrology and dynamics. Therefore to obtain the maximum utilization capacity the humans should be knowledgeable and efficient.
Who suffers? The IPCC has indicated an average of 1.7 degree Centigrade increase in temperature by 2070 for the area in and around Sri Lanka. Concurrently, it predicts a maximum of five percent reduction of the wet season rainfall, while there will be no change in the dry season rainfall. The rising sea level will make the lowest 3 to 5 kilometers of the lower reaches of all the rivers saline. It is clear that the poor is the most vulnerable group to climatic change as their capacity to cope with sudden events resulting from climatic change is less than the other groups with better financial capacity. It is clear that about 92 percent of the householders who suffer a property damage of 70 per cent and above in the last major floods and slides in Sri Lanka are in the low income group. This is because higher income groups are able to live in safe locations, which are more expensive and situated on stable geological foundations. This is a reality in all the developing countries where the poor is left with the poorest quality and highest hazard prone land as feudal and elitist landlords still hold power of land ownership and control. Data on fatalities from annual floods and landslides in Sri Lanka reveals that 94 per cent of the fatalities occur in the poorest group of people and they live under continuous threat of natural disasters. In a survey of 12 districts in Sri Lanka conducted between 1996 and 2002, 84 per cent of the low income groups identified climate related events as damaging to their livelihood and 32 per cent were seriously affected with damages leading to heavy loss of income. In addition to physical damage there is a rising health risk associated with climatic change. Climatic change and health is a well researched topic of study in the developed world as they have accepted the concept of change and probable increase in new and existing health risks. There are three major health risks associated with climatic change in Sri Lanka. Firstly, the increasing dryness in all parts of the country will increase the risk of mosquito borne
diseases and water related diseases. Secondly, increased intensity of rainfall associated with climatic change affect the health of people in poor housing (all houses without a proper ceiling - about 90 per cent of all housing in Sri Lanka are in this category) through fine droplet spray, which the researchers believe to be one of the major causes of the increase in respiratory diseases. Thirdly, the increase of high flood levels, severe droughts, landslides and heavy winds will increase the instantaneous health risk all over the country. At the moment there is no data bank on this aspect, though related data is available in many public sector documents. In addition to physical damage there is a rising health risk associated with climatic change. Climatic change and health is a well researched topic of study in the developed world as they have accepted the concept of change and probable increase in new and existing health risks. There are three major health risks associated with climatic change in Sri Lanka. Firstly, the increasing dryness in all parts of the country will increase the risk of mosquito borne disease and water related diseases. Secondly, increased intensity of rainfall associated with climatic change affect the health of people in poor housing (all houses without a proper ceiling - about 90 per cent of all housing in Sri Lanka are in this category) through fine droplet spray, which the researchers believe to be one of the major causes of the increase in respiratory diseases. Thirdly, the increase of high flood levels, severe droughts, landslides and heavy winds will increase the instantaneous health risks all over the country. At the moment there is no data bank on this aspect, though related data is available in many public sector documents.
CSP 2 Floods and landslides : the emerging scenario (Seneviratne and Karunaratne, 2003) A detailed review of the relevance of climatic change shows that the wet areas of Sri Lanka will face an increasing threat of floods and slides in the period ahead of 1990 to the future. More than 500 academic and technical publications bear witness to this scenario. The best available most recent academic and technical data are provided by the WMO/UNEP Report (1998) on the regional impacts of climatic change, which clearly indicates an increase of total and intensity of rainfall in the South Asian region. In 1975, 1998 and 2002 one of the authors had warned that the frequency of flooding would increase in Sri Lanka, associated with climatic change and development. In 1998 in an article which appeared in Dinamina about an earthquake near Kandy, one of the authors called for the establishment of scientific organisations to study and predict natural hazards, as most of the developing countries have done in the past two decades. Most of the damage which occurred in the present flood situation could have been avoided, if the people who are responsible for safety of human resources of Sri Lanka watched radar weather maps and listened to predictions regularly for about four days before the arrival of the depression. Information of the WMO reveals that the depression clouds can get stagnated when they are caught between two mountain ranges and that is what exactly happened in this situation. Some strands of the depression clouds were caught in between. Samanala and Gongala-Hiniduma ranges in Denawaka valley: They kept on creating cloud streets and line squalls, which brought heavy continuous rainfall. One of the authors has published an article in 2000 (Daily News) on new detailed evidences of rain formation and line squalls in Sri Lanka.
In addition there are more than 300 research papers published between 1900 and 2002 on changing climate and dangers of poor environmental planning in Sri Lanka, which were also disregarded by the policy makers. The destruction caused to lives and property due to the inability of the policy makers to grasp the value of scientific data and technical data is indicated well from the present disaster. The use of floodable land and geologically unstable slopes for housing, neglect of heavy sedimentation of streams and rivers and forgetting that nature has its rhythm were the three major errors committed by the policy makers. Grassroots also have to be blamed for their ignorance of nature and poor environment literacy. However, none of the developed countries in the world has not achieved the present status of balance of environment without strict environmental regulation and law. One of the authors of this paper lived at Ratnapura in the 1960s and 1970s and is a regular visitor in the study of sedimentation and flood hazard and has predicted many times in his writings on the possible dangers. The lowlands in and around Ratnapura are built by Kalu Ganga to store its floodwater in the time of its major flood (This applies to Gin Ganga and Nilwala Ganga also). The mean annual rainfall of Ratnapura district is 3,000 millimeters. Kalu Ganga is a river in which the flood can be predicted easily, if there is a watch of rain in the Samanala range and Western slopes of Gongala ranges (Kalawana and Kukulegama areas). These three rivers have the steepest gradients for any river in Sri Lanka in their upper reaches, which leads to rapid flow of rainwater from the highland to the lowland. There are only limited virgin forests in the catchment areas of Gin Ganga, Nilwala Ganga and Kalu Ganga. These facts were forgotten in the modern development process, which became very rapid in the 1980s and 1990s. Information on floodable land was forgotten or disregarded by the policy makers and users, as Sri Lanka experienced a dry phase in its climate in the 1980s and 1990s. One of the authors was alarmed on a visit to his old village area at Ratnapura in 1998 after a lapse of about 10 years,
when he witnessed that the floodable area was thickly covered with housing of all types. This was a disaster in the making as Kalu Ganga will always come back to its pre-prepared flood plain during its high flows. The frequency of this return of Kalu Ganga is fairly regular and repeats around 25, 50 and 100-year floods. Almost all the landslides originate from heavy saturation of slope material. However, human activities like over loading of a slope with a thin weathered regolith or unconsolidated soil cover can also initiate landslides under heavy rainfall conditions. Both these have contributed to landslides in this disaster. Quarrying may have contributed, but if only the regolith was too thin in which case the planning and environmental authorities should have recommended that the area is unsuitable for building or any other human activity. There is news about slow pace of draining of floodwater and this is due to sedimentation of micro waterways and sub streams, which prevent outward flow in the flood plain. Ratnapura has no drainage system, which can cope with its own daily drainage, not to talk of flood drainage. This applies to all our towns and cities, where smell reign. The poor drainage or sedimented waterways is again a result of poor policy application and maintenance of environmental law. One of the authors read a paper on dangers of sedimentation of waterways recently at a seminar funded by a donor organization and its local area organizers, early this year, pointing out the real dangers of sedimentation of waterways with local monitored examples. One of the more informed Ministers in the present government was interested in a proposal submitted by the same author about a year ago, but it is yet to materialise into action. As we know, the Pavithra Ganga programme has faced many obstacles due to disregard of scientific information. Only a long-term (minimum of 50 years) programme will minimize the effect of major flooding and landslides. As the wet areas of Sri Lanka are going to be wetter and dry areas
are going to be drier and annual average damage from these hazards may be about a billion rupees. This may rise if we are going to experience a major flood every 25 years. A fair estimate of 50 billion rupees damage has occurred in the present flood. Another 5 to 10 billion loss of income is yet to come from loss of farm crops and tree crops. The number of affected families by this flood is 162,800 (Ministry of Social Welfare, 2003). It is time now that the policy makers listen to scientific advice on settlement planning, location and housing. An attempt to conduct this type of programme was disregarded by the Government and foreign loan and aid agencies many a time. One of the authors who has wide experience in natural hazard studies has warned of this type of occurrence first in 1977 in a study of upper Mahaweli, funded by UNDP and Ministry of Plan Implementation and as recent as 2002 March has submitted a long-term work programme to the Government of Sri Lanka, SIDA and Sarvodaya and waiting for a response. As Hancock, Nyerere and Bala Usman have indicated in their writings, the polity of natural hazard is that the relief is cheaper and profitable for international agencies than the establishment of a long-term programme. The relief creates an avenue for the policy makers and administrators to get rich continuously as Bala Usman has observed in relation to corruption discovered in the relief programmes of 1983 drought in Africa, which involved some United Nations staff and Multinational companies. However, developed countries from where these organizations originate have used draconian measures to organize the natural and settled environment through application of laws and regulations and invested heavily on canalization of rivers, control of household area erosion and sedimentation and use of concrete, bitumen and other chemical layers etc to control flooding and landslides. Visits to their countries reveal that dams and weirs of various sizes and designs and even laying of stones on river beds and banks have been employed without much concern of the natural value of the area, but making the riverside safe. They hide their large dams in the mountainous areas fairly
inaccessible to the visitor or cover it with a scenic arrangement through reforestation. Research into culture and financial management is important only if the living environment is free of its most damaging natural disasters. Though we cannot stop them we have the scientific knowledge to control them and bring the impact to a level, which will not affect the economy of a region or a country. As one of the authors has already proposed since 1990s, a household based environmental conservation programme must be initiated immediately to avoid more disasters of this nature. The same author wishes to inform the policy makers and public that the catchments of Maha Oya and Deduru Oya are also seriously eroded in the upper reaches and sedimented in the lower reaches. A climatic occurrence similar to that which happened in the Denawaka Valley moving across this catchment may cause a similar disaster. The long-term data indicate the south-west monsoon is slowly shifting its path in a North-North-West direction and this may bring a cloud mass and block it between the Matale-Ambokka ranges and the lower ranges of North-western plains resulting in a massive rain storm. This will create a condition conducive to a major flood. Recent research indicates that rainfall intensities in the intermediate zone are increasing rapidly and North-easterlies are associated with heavy rain in this region. A recent 'Discovery' programme on the future has indicated a major destruction of human civilization may arise from environmental disasters than from a nuclear war. Floods, tornadoes, cyclones and droughts in the range of 2 to 3 trillion US dollars have proved this correct by the total damage to Europe and USA in the last decade. Are we really heading for an environmental disaster of a mega proportion was the final question of that programme. We in Sri Lanka have to suffer heavy economic damage amounting to about 30 billion rupees to bring back the areas to operational level and according to popular news, it may take about one third of our budgetary allocations this year to fully rehabilitate the damage over a period of five years.
Will we be able to sustain this programme in case of continuing natural disasters? The answer is no. We have to follow the scientific evidences and be ready for the future. All the developed countries have mega plans to face the impending natural disasters. They have food, medical supplies and service stocks in hand with disaster prediction, control and management organizations. Please begin a long-term restructuring of environment in the hazardous zones.
CSP 3 Are we ready? Likelihood of the occurrence of natural disasters in the settled environment of Sri Lanka: A Case study of North Central Province ( Seneviratne, 2006). Introduction Experience show that urban and rural settled environments in Sri Lanka have changed from a safe living environment to a hazardous and dangerous living environment since modernisation began in early 1970s. This is a result of changing natural environment and loss of control of environmental change by the institutional and social structure during this period. Environment is changed with the change of place and space. It is an accepted fact that the effect of global environmental change is visible in Sri Lanka as it is subjected to climatic change and geological instability. Man has totally taken control over his environment with proper planning or not, without proper planning as in the case of Sri Lanka. This study confirms that literacy is not an important factor like in the developed world in environmental control in Sri Lanka. The urban areas of Sri Lanka have only a very limited disaster readiness. Nature has its own array of destruction in Sri Lanka. The safety of the settlements rests on proper environmental control and not only in its physical planning.
Aims and Objectives Aim of this presentation is to inform the student and policy makers that housing and settlement planning is a basic
process through which environmental control can be established on a national scale as conducted in the developed nations, which is expected to stabilise economic development by the removal of excessive damage from natural and man made hazards and disasters. Disregard to scientific approach to hazard and disaster management is clearly visible in the environment under study, specially in the settlement planning for middle and low income groups of people, which constitutes about 80 percent of the population. The specific objective is to inform the institutional and social organisation of North, North central, North western and Eastern provinces to be ready for the natural disaster scenarios expected due to climatic change and increased geological activity in the Indian Ocean Plate. Data and methodology Data for the paper was collected from many secondary sources and from a multi-faceted data collection programme, where field observation, monitoring, questionnaire survey, life history survey and participatory methods were used. This include a continuous observation of almost all parts of the country on more than 250 field trips between 1966 and 2005 and a survey of 32 urban and 134 rural settlements in 7 provinces of Sri Lanka between 1996 September and 2000 April as a part of a research project on health status conducted by the author for University of Trondheim, Norway. In the survey of University of Trondheim, 134 life history recordings were collected from 7 provinces from a sample of politicians, administrators, farmers, day labourers, housewives, and other types of employed and unemployed. The age distribution of the sample ranged fro 105 to 26. Detailed analysis of the methodologies used, status of the hazard and environmental hazards are discussed in detail in Seneviratne (2003 b and 2005 d).
Global environmental change and its effect on Sri Lankan environment The theoretical foundation for this presentation is derived from the concept of environmental change. Environment is changed with the change of place and space. Place and space
is ever connected, because µhuman projects do not simply happen in space, they need a place for them to occur and they compete for such places¶ (Sack, 1999:27). It is this competition which leads to occupy environmentally unstable areas where the disaster is virulent. In the practices of early modernisation theory human emancipation is directed towards ³liberation from the vicissitudes of nature through advanced technology and self emancipation, that is, control over social relations, conscious control over the conditions under which human nature is formed´ (Peet, 1999). The liberation from the vicissitudes of nature through advanced technology and self-emancipation is directly related to hazard control. Alternative development theory stress the importance of social process in development, but it is evident that the natural hazards have the ability to override the effect of even the most advanced form of social mobilisation (Sen, 1982 and 1999). The Global Environmental Outlook 2000 (United Nations, 1999) claimed that global warming would trigger a series of disasters with serious world implications. Long drought periods in the monsoon climatic system, effects of El Nino, increased occurrence of thunderstorm rain damage in temperate climates and increased frequency of tropical cyclones in the past 30 years have confirmed that the climate has begun to change rapidly than the scientists have expected, due to global warming (Seneviratne, 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2005 d). Geophysicists and Astronomers have issued warnings of increased volcanic and earthquake activity in the near future. The developed nations have the capability to reduce the impact of climatic change through use of control systems, but the developing world is continually being affected by vagaries of climatic change and livelihoods in them are seriously damaged resulting in retardation of economic growth. It is clear that the poor and marginalised communities of the developing world are more seriously affected by climatic change and other natural disasters than the rest of the population in the developing world. Jamie Austin geophysicist in the team of Unstoppable Wave (Discovery (2005) said ³there was no warning and there is no excuse for that, scientist should help people´ with reference to 2004 December tsunami scenario. However, even the scientists are ready to help, local interest groups may not
support that form of action, as beaches and coasts are prime property in tourism, terrorism and smuggling operations. There were about 500 fully qualified geologists working in the area and moderate sized Tsunamis and powerful earthquakes are not uncommon in the area, but the nonchalant attitude of the socio-political and scientific community may have caused the unimaginable disaster. Recent geological instability in (Figure 1), and around Sri Lanka began in the late 1990s with a powerful earthquake in the Hydrabad region of Inida, which is a part of the Crystalline massif on which Sri Lanka rests. Early tremors radiating from the Mega Thrust in the Burma ±Indian Plate boundary may have caused 6 small tremors felt in Sri Lanka between 1998 and two days before the 9.2 Richter scale earthquake of December 26th 2004. The author managed to investigate the 1998 September tremor, which ran through the fracture zone along Dumbara valley towards Ragala Massif, and the results were published in Dinamina (1998), with a conclusive note for the authorities responsible. In here the author requested for more coordination in the study of natural disasters of Sri Lanka and indicated the changing nature of the basement geological structure of Sri Lanka. 2 days before December 6, 2004, the deep geological basement synclinorium structure (The bent and curved rock structures clearly visible in road cuttings along hilly and mountainous roads in Sri Lanka are the crenulations of this synclinorium, on which the present landform profile of Sri Lanka rests), was shaken and some deep springs on the crystalline limestone beds were disturbed and turned muddy. At the time of the Tsunami 2004, author was working in field at Gelioya, discussing the effect of this pre-Tsunami earthquake, which was confirmed at Madawala Ulpotha, Ukuwela and Ambatenna. Returning to Madawala Ulpotha and Ukuwela in the aftermath of the Mega Tsunami people of the area around the deep springs on the crystalline limestone beds informed the author of muddy water appearing in the springs immediately after the Tsunami causing earthquake on the 26th December 2004. The subsidence and accelerated creep in the area around Matale may be result of the shift of underlying geological structures, which occurred between 1998 and 2004. A detailed field study conducted in this area recently revealed the breaks of rock strata and creep occurring in a direction diagonal to the dip of the underlying crystalline limestone at Dunkolawaththa, Mathale. The connection between these earthquakes and geological
structure of Sri Lanka submitted in the above description are not presented so far in any published material, but media reports on them are abound. When the author was conducting the radio programme, Are You Ready -learn and get ready to face hazards - (Oba Suudanamda) in Sinhala medium transmissions of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (National Service, Commercial Service and City FM) many enquiries of this type of small tremors were reported to the programme producer T.D.K. Jayantha. Since December 26, 2004 Mega Tsunami, there were about 3 tremors reported in 2005 (Kalutara, Mihintale and Yatiyanthota areas) in the media. Professor C.B. Dissanayake has written about the possibility of destabilisation of the Indian Ocean plate along some new fracture zones and the recent earthquake reported in December 2005 in the western Indian Ocean is a witness to his expectation. The destructive Indo-Pakistan earthquake 2005, November is also a sign that the Sumatra area Mega Thrust is releasing heavy amounts of stress built over the last 300 to 400 years (Discovery, 2005). All these signs indicate that the traditional belief of stable crystalline massif of Sri Lanka is not valid as new evidences are collected on the activities of the Indian Ocean Plate in relation to its boundaries with Pacific and Eurasian Plates. The recent western Indian Ocean earthquake may be a signal that the Rift Valley System fracture is also becoming active.
Settled Environment in Sri Lanka It cane be safely said that a major part of the settled environment or built environment of Sri Lanka is hazardous in nature. Various types of constructions are placed on land without due consideration to load bearing capacity of slopes, passage of waterways, sea waves and tides. Thesis (1973 and 2003 b), conference papers (1986,1994, 2002 b, 2002 c and 2002 d), Journal Articles (1968, 1993, 2001and 2005 d) Consultancy reports (1977a, and 2003 c) and Siddhisena and Seneviratne, (2002f and 2002g), media reports (Seneviratne, 1974, 1975, 1998, 2002 a, 2002 e, 2003 a, 2005 a and 2005 b), books (Seneviratne, 1977, 2004 and 2005 c) and many department seminar papers and field reports over a period of about 37 years has revealed that poor environmental control has resulted in damage to property and loss of life. For example a field visit to Ratnapura area made in the immediate aftermath of the 2003 floods revealed that drains and field canals blocked with solid waste have led to the
formation of turbulent eddies, which in turn led to the destruction of best built houses and killed many. The most of the homeless in this disaster were low income group people who have been living in unprotected and unstable riverbank area (Seneviratne and Karunaratne, 2002b). Though nature is the mastermind of the environment and it has a non-linear existence with many types of behaviours such as cyclical, multi-cyclical, sudden, unpredictable and predictable systems of operation. Humans are also in a similar non-linear system of existence and nature and humans are either in harmony or conflict with each other. When natural or manmade system is in conflict with humans, the hazards are formed. Table 1 indicate the nature of units, the relationship between social organisation and environmental control and the hazard and their damage level. These units are subjected to many hazards as given in Table 1, because these units are formed at the physico-social system interface. These units have become the most important conglomerates in human existence today and they have tendency to create hazards if they are not properly controlled. This control is also a part of the environmental control required for the construction of an environment with a minimum possible hazard level. Dumping of any refuse, even a wrapper of a toffee is punishable by a fine of 100 Singapore Dollars in Singapore. This law has turned the dirty Singapore I saw in 1979, to one of the cleanest cities in the world, when I visited it in 2000. Colombo was a cool humid city when I started my first job as an assistant lecturer in the Colombo Campus of University of Ceylon in 1966, and I did not require a fan in my room, but visiting the same place in 2000, air was acrid and the front of the building was a stack of garbage. For example the use of fingerprint in the issuance of visa to UK and USA has reduced the entry of many previously unknown terrorists, who have no definite military plan in action and can destroy innocent civilian targets. Therefore these units in Table 1 are holistic in nature and interconnected within the physical, human and technological spheres of life. Social organisations are the groups or individuals who use the environment for their wants and needs. Some of the organisations are required for general living and others for mitigating hazard. For example main electricity supply is for normal use and emergency electricity supply is to be utilised under emergency conditions created by a hazard such as
destruction of a power plant by an inert explosion or terrorist attack.
Table 1. The primary units of environment, social organisation and hazard
Major units of environment People Social organisation Hazards, number of occurrences are daily reported cases for Colombo (data is in numbers mostly but some data are qualitative) Accidents (100), Terrorism (once a week), Mugging (20), Burglary (400), Drugs (20), Disease (2500), Conflict (every urban area has an ongoing conflict ±political (3), (Annual financial loss from these hazards is about 2 billion rupees, which can be reduced by about 80 percent if proper controls are in place) Disease, which can affect humans (animal bites 15). (Average annual expenditure by Government health authorities for treatment of these cases exceeds 30 million rupees - a media report -. This hazard can be reduced by about 98 percent if proper social control is established.)
Animals, birds and insects
Social groups based on class, caste and occupations ± Development brings hazards, but their density and intensity increases with loss of social environmental control, which occur through socio-political corruption. Domesticated animals and birds Naturally living Lack of control of stray animals is also a result of social environmental control, which occurs through socio-political corruption.
Table 1. The primary units of environment, social organisation and hazard (cont.)
Major units of environment Buildings Social organisation Hazards, number of occurrences are daily reported cases for Colombo (data is in numbers mostly but some data are qualitative) Fire (5) Collapse (10) Machinery failure (10) Terrorism (once a month) Flash flood (after a rain of 60 millimetres) Flood (in the monsoon season) Electricity failure (average of 143 major failures a day affecting over 25 users) Communication failure (average of 120 telephones out of order) (Estimated loss is about 2 billion rupees a year, which can be reduced by about 60 percent with proper social environmental control).
Disaster readiness The settled areas of Sri Lanka have only a very limited disaster readiness. Most of the building developments have paid only highly limited consideration to environmental hazards and if any major flood, earthquake or cyclone occurs, there will be a heavy loss of life and property damage. The vulnerability of the settled environment to hazard was clearly indicated in the 2003 Kalu, Gin and Nilwala floods and Tsunami of 26th December 2004. The scenario for North, North Central, Northwestern and Eastern Three major climatic hazards and the possibility of earthquakes are present in the disaster scenario of North, North Central, Northwestern and Eastern provinces. It is now clear that climate of Sri Lanka has changed from a reliable monsoon climate to a climate with highly variable rainfall and slowly rising temperatures. Research on climatic change in Sri Lanka (Whetton, 1994, Wijeratne, 1996, Suppiah, 1997 and Seneviratne, 2005 d) indicate that rising temperature and increased convection activity ( Jayasundara, 2004) has led to an increase in squall lines (multi-cell thunderstorms), tornado type winds and occurrence of weak to moderately strong depressions. Macro data, observations, a scientific monitoring programme and a life history survey conducted by the author over the last 20 to 30 year period in various parts of Sri Lanka has confirmed this changing nature of climate of Sri Lanka (Seneviratne, 2005 d) and it effects on the dry zone of Sri Lanka.
Squall lines and tornado type winds
³ A squall line is a line of thunderstorms that have a common lifting mechanism. Lifting mechanisms tend to occur in bands. The storms first develop where there is the best combination of moisture, instability and lift. The squall line will sustain itself by producing its own lift due to outflow boundaries. As long as instability and moisture remain present out ahead of the squall line, the squall line will continue to propagate (www.theweatherprediction.com).´
³ A tornado is a violent windstorm characterized by a twisting, funnel-shaped cloud. The word "tornado" comes from the Spanish or Portuguese verb tornar, meaning, "to turn." (En.wikipedia.org).´ During 1996 and 2003 and a detailed study was carried out on a destructive squall line in 2002 (Seneviratne, 2002), which revealed that high intensity squall lines are pushed by either equatorial easterlies when they are formed in the eastern and southern regions of Sri Lanka and the squall lines formed in the western regions of Sri Lanka are pushed by equatorial westerlies. A monitoring programme on line squalls and tornado type winds was conducted between 2005 January and April by the News Room of Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation and contacts with affected was maintained in the daily radio programme on hazard information ³Are You Ready´, ³Oba Suudanamda´ in Sinhala language, (Seneviratne, and Jayantha, 2005 a)´. The data gathered from this programme indicated that more than 50 percent of the phone-in people were of the view that winds, thunderstorms, lightning and rain have increased in intensity. This data can be further supported by Seneviratne, (2005 c and d) and media reports of major news lines and newspapers of Sri Lanka. The map showing tornadoes with moderate to heavy damage as reported in news media indicate that they are formed mainly in the region of hill ranges surrounding the central highlands of Sri Lanka (Figure 1).
Figure, 1 Hazard occurrence (minimum of 20, 000 rupees damage, except for earth tremors, as reported in the media and sometimes confirmed by scientific sources) KEY: Increased dryness in the next 50 years (Seneviratne, 2005 d) Tornado or high winds
Approximate upper boundary of Tornado or high winds in 2005occurnces
High intensity thunderstorms
Some earth tremors reported in media in 2005 Primary Cyclone paths
Cyclones Cyclone (hurricane or typhoon) is an area of low pressure around which winds blow counter clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere (www.crh.noaa.gov). Also the term hurricane is used in the Americas and typhoon in East Asia. The climatic data indicated that every 16 years there is a high probability of a cyclone in North central, North and Eastern provinces. ³Moreover, a large amount of lives and property was seriously destroyed by for example unexpected cyclones in the years 1964, 1978, 1992, severe drought in the year 2002 and a very severe deluge and landslides in year 2003 in Sri Lanka. It is clear that almost all natural hazards (i.e. floods, landslides, drought, cyclones, depressions and coastal erosion) that affect Sri Lanka have climatological and hydrometeorological tendencies (Premathilake, 2004). If the recurrence interval of the unexpected cyclones is 14 years and the last two occurred in 1978 and 1992, 2006 will be the year for the next unexpected cyclone in the provinces of North central, North and Northeast. Since the last major cyclone in 1992 the North Central province has added many more roads, power lines, telecommunication lines, houses, schools, universities and commercial establishments into its settlement network. A preliminary survey indicate that if a 100 to 150 kilometres per hour wind is generated as in the 1978 cyclone (where about 84 deaths. 640 injuries and a 30 million rupee damage was reported), there will be moderate damage in Anuradhapura. Major disaster scenario is falling trees and almost all the housing investigated has a risk of being damaged by tall trees. The road between the University of Rajarata main campus and Matale Junction has 64 trees which can fall on to road under these wind velocities. If there is no sufficient warning (at least half an hour) within large building units like schools, universities, government offices and garment factories tree fall can increase the risk of serious injury and death.
Earthquakes An earthquake is ³shaking and vibration at the surface of the earth resulting from underground movement along a fault plane of from volcanic activity´ (wordnet.princeton.edu). As stated above the geological activity in and around Sri Lanka is entering a new phase and there is now a high probability of earthquakes measuring above 4.5 Richter Scale. The craystalline base in the Mihintale area, crystalline limestone base of Nalada ± Matale hills have been shaken in 2004 by small tremors felt by people. An earthquake of the magnitude of about 6.5 in and around Anuradhapura or Mihintale will cause about 60 percent damage to buildings and the larger buildings built without stress resistant foundations will face serious damage from soil flow as these areas are composed of a sandy clay basement. If a soil flow is to occur like in the Kobe earthquake 1997 and big buildings are not built with reinforced pile driving, they will float on the sandy clay soil and face serious damage within 3 to 7 minutes from the shock. At the moment there are not enough exit points for the people working in these building as all the windows are strengthened by fixed burglar proofing. People in the higher floor have no outside fire escapes, which may lead to congestion in the stairways and if the after shocks are to occur within three minutes the situation can be very dangerous. Conclusion Safety of the settlements rests on proper environmental control not only in its physical planning. The need for a social and political empowerment is considered imperative to face the challenges of natural hazard and disaster planning (Sen, 1982). There should be an attempt to reduce sociopolitical corruption in the environmental control in Sri Lanka, and utilization of local technologies tested by local scientists in the empowerment of people and scientific environmental control. The radio programmes (Seneviratne and Jayantha, 2005 a) and television presentations (Seneviratne and Jayantha, 2005 b) are found to be the most effective in disseminating information on hazard occurrence, arrival and impact.
CSP 4 The New Village (Seneviratne, 1975) Extract from - January 10th, 1975 ± Daily News, p 6 The development and environment has begun to initiate many interests in the field of economic development as the 1973 ± 74-world drought has made aware of the accelerating environmental degradation. The developing nations are faced with the massive task of feeding the rapidly rising population and increasing rich-poor gap. Lack of proper planning has led to destruction of available land and other resources in the developing world and it is clear that the future looks bleak. The aim of this article is to inform planners and political leaders of our nation that only a village based development programme is able to revive our nations economic growth and stabilise the future status of our nation as a developed country. The models taken to describe the process of development needed are taken for some countries, which have used their environment to be developed and stay developed. In this programme the village as we know may not be always suitable as the new village proposed here is to be a unit where sufficient amount of local resources are available for a local economy to be established. In here the existing small village units may be amalgamated and some large village units have to be redesigned to suit the future. New village in the latter half of the 20th century is to be a modern village with village resources and crafts are developed aiming at local as well as international market. The village resources are of two major varieties. Firstly there are physical resources of the village, such as its geomorphologic, vegetation and hydrologic resources. Every village has its speciality in the available physical resources. The finding of these resources have to conducted using modern morphological surveys and specially a technique known as geomorphologic mapping. Geomorphologic mapping is not only suitable for finding the physical resources, but it can be used for the understanding of the natural forces working within the villages unit. For example the flood occurrence, slide probability and many other
unstable forms operating within the village such as gulling can be identified for this type of survey. In countries of the developed world they have already finished the identification of the village based resources and risks in the environment through this method. The growing science of Satellite mapping is now aiding this work with rapid provision of new maps with risk environments. As we already have the aerial photography of high quality we can begin this work immediately and use of university resources at Peradeniya and Colombo is advised to begin this work. This survey will indicate the types of local mineral and vegetal resources and their capacities. For example after this survey it is possible to know where is clay and sand required for pottery and construction respectively. Pottery is going to be a highly marketable product in future in the local and international markets and the demand for sand is going to increase by about 10 fold in the next 20 to 30 years. The village based cultivation systems are also under pressure from rapidly rising population and villages are expanding into higher slopes or wet lands as there location forces. This results in the erosion of hillsides and burial of the wetland both which will lower the water availability of the surrounding area and limit the quantity of good quality drinking water. The village in the ancient civilisation was a well-planned unit of operation, which had only a very limited effect on water and vegetal resources. This arose from the location and organisation of the village. Location of the village was ideal for living and was in a safe are out of the way of the spillway of the tank and the tank bund. It was located away form the main forested area and the pressure from the settlement was limited on the forest. The modern village is expanding along the roads in a linear form and this puts a high pressure on the roadside lands either wet or dry. In addition private ownership of land has forced construction in any place you like not listening to risk factor. Today about 12 percent of the total population and about 70 percent of the poor live in lands with high risk from flood, landslide and disease. A new village therefore is required to be established with a great concern to our environmental factors. We should aim at nuclear type of villages in the future with all the infrastructure facilities supplied in a well-planned manner. The resettlement and new village establishment should take into consideration of the effect of allowing villages to spread, as they like.
The current emphasis on village based economy by the government is a timely activity, but the stability of a village is not only achieved by cultivation and related economic activity, the water and soil resources of the village also have to be taken care of well under a long term plan if the prosperity of the village is to be maintained. Further, the village depend heavily on its craftsmanship, where many types of craftsmen practise their craft with dignity and faith. Crafts are a product of high demand in the international market and with the expected development in air freight there is a lucrative market for crafts in the latter part of the 20th century. Therefore it is timely to look towards a new village based on its location, size, capabilities and development in the next 20 to 30 years. In the process of development the highly trained university staff and the students with the newest knowledge should be utilised well. CSP 4 Micro-relief forms and man: A Case Study of Maiduguri and its Environs, Borno State, Nigeria (Seneviratne, 1991) 1.1 Introduction. Geomorphology is the study of landforms and processes operating on them. Landforms are a naturally evolving system in a dynamic equilibrium with their erosional environments, when man does not utilize them. Man enters this dynamic equilibrium with many types of uses and technologies. In an urban area, impact of man is in the area of construction of residential, commercial, institutional and recreational facilities that are connected by transport and access linkages such as roads, railway, power transmission lines, telephone lines, water supply systems etc. etc. In addition urban areas in the developing world have units of farming and animal rearing. Urban area is not easily identified in the developing world as it is in the developed world. Criteria used here are taken from Mabogunje (1968). At the same time the civil authorities of local urban areas are not truly urban in nature. It is a mixture of traditional and modern systems of governance. In a system of this nature as it was in the late 18th and early 19th century, urban areas of the developed world little attention is given to overall structural planning objectives (Christaller, 1933).
2.1 Micro ± relief in Maiduguri and its environs. Four major micro-relief units are identified in relation to impact on human environment (Tables 1,2 and 3). 2.1.1. Flood Plain 2.1.2. Clay plain 2.1.3. Ridge. 2.1.4. High Plain. 2.1.1. Flood Plain Located along Alo and Ngadda rivers this is a sandy clay or gravelly clay landform unit. Naturally formed levees and terraces were identified in some places during field survey. This unit has fertile farming land and lowering water level has made it hard and good for building. Over the last decade the unit was used for various types of constructions and farming and the original vegetation cover of fuel plantations have been almost removed from the scene. Since 1983 there is a gradual process of heavy rill activity, moderate gullying and bank collapse due to pavementation of adjacent area. It was observed in 1990 that there has been a change in thulweg of Alo River and new sites of bank erosion have emerged. 2.1.2. Clay Plain.
Composed of sand or sandy clay materials and slopes of 1: 30,000 and over, this is the clay plain made by receding lake. Micro-undulations with 20 to 30 centimeter depth and 300 to 500 meter width cover the area in a jigsaw pattern. This Jigsaw pattern does not allow any proper drainage system to develop and dry season wind deposition, roadside and trackside erosion, refuse dumping and uncontrolled constructions have resulted in heavy inundation during rainy season and sand and dust turbulence during dry season. 2.1.3. Ridge.
Known as Bama Ridge (Grove, 1959), a ridge composed of sandy gravelly clay soils run across the study area in a southeasterly to northwesterly direction. It has a wavy formation with slopes of 1:100 to 1:800 gradients. Because of higher elevation and strong base characteristics most of the valuable and important constructions are on this unit.
Micro-erosion and sedimentation were noted in many places during rainy season, sometimes resulting in serious roadside erosion and burial of road surfaces. 2.1.4 High Plain.
Located to the east of the ridge this is the true plain of Chad Formation sand and clays. Surface features are similar to those of clay plain but there are few locations with dried-up small playas of Pleistocene origin, which are now inundated heavily during rainy season. Constructions of various types and other human interferences have made drainage a problem in this area. 3.1 Micro-relief and urban development Study of geomorphology and its uses in urban planning is at an initial stage in most parts of the developing world due to lack of capability to assess its importance. Poor financial management, scarce manpower resources and cultural limitation in most parts of the developing world have forced not to give enough attention to impact of micro-relief on urban structural problems, though it is studied well at the initial planning stages. In the MaxLock master plan for Maiduguri, many areas which were categorised as recommended to be kept free of building had to be used by 1980 due to high pressure and demand on land on those areas. Between 1980 most 1990 most of the lands in this category were used for building. Dry weather from 1980 to 1987 made people to believe that the recommendations were inaccurate or fatalistic. This was not only limited to Maiduguri, it was the general pattern all over the State and of the Nation. People began encroaching on marginal land without considering its proximity to any hazard or damage. Attempts were made at various stages to solve the problems of drainage and slope instability. Drainage networks constructed during the early stages of urban expansion are an example of long term planning. But the expansion was so rapid that these attempts were not enough to cater for the new areas. In addition poor maintenance has lowered the capability of these drainages to hold planned quantities of wastewater.
4.1 Damage Situation Damage results in many additional expenses to the individual, community and authority. Rebuilding, financial and material relief can become a problem to poor economies. It is a well-known fact that the annual funding for rainstorm and wind damages in Maiduguri is on the increase. Therefore it is time to begin a short-term and a long-term programme of action. (Table 2 and 3). 5.1 Conclusion and Proposed measures (Table 4). Short-term:- In high quality constructions, each construction unit should be responsible for draining the excess water safely in to a master drainage system. In low quality user area¶s community should be made responsible for maintenance of drainage facilities, once the drains ditches and ponds are planned and constructed by local or state authorities. An inexpensive drainage model can be designed and constructed with the help of Unimaid and Ramat as tested in project work programmes. Though it may take minimum of 10 to 20 years for problem solving, it is better to begin now than not (Seneviratne, 1977). Long-term - Between 1957 and 1988 Maiduguri grew by 700 percent in terms of built-up area (1957 Aerial Photography and 1988 LANDSAT and SPOT PAN data). In the recent 5 years it showed a growth of 40 to 60 percent at various sectors and areas. Though poor economy will result in a recessionary trend urban expansion is expected to continue at a rate of 30 to 45 percent over the next ten year period (field work data, 1994). In terms of wind damage peripheral shelter belts and wind storm resistant structural designs have to be used in all high quality or public utility buildings. It has been observed (Seneviratne, 1985), that storm rainfall of 60 millimeters per hour or over can result in destructive inundation and erosion in most parts of the Metropolis. People and authorities of Maiduguri should organize to minimize the impact of man-land complex built by them, through long-term planning and effect. If not more and more damages with more serious consequences may occur in future. In addition Maiduguri should have an emergency plan for dyke collapse at Alo Dam complex, as the flood plain is heavily built up.
References Christaller, N (1933) Central Places in Southern Germany (trans 1966, C.W.Bastian) Englewood Cliffs, N.J. Glove, A.T.(1958) Ancient Erg of Hausaland and similar features on the south side of Sahara, Geographical . Journal., 124 Mabogunje, A (1968) Urbanization in Nigeria, London University Press,London. Max Lock and Partners (1973) Maiduguri Urban Structural Plan, North Eastern States Government,Maiduguri. Seneviratne, H.M.M.B.(1977) Soil Conservation Project ± Pilot Survey Atabage oya and Muloya UNDP/Ministry of Planning and Plan Implementation, Government of Sri Lanka, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Table 1 Erosional Features of Micro-relief (1980-1989)
Erosional feature Rill erosion Gully erosion Bank collapse Flood plain 38 14 19 Clay plain 10 3 0 Ridge 25 8 2 High plain 14 3 0
Table 2 Human factor in erosion of the flood plain
Land use Slope(abney level) 2.5 2.0 5 4 6 Maximum gully slope (abney level)) 8 11 14 18 12 Gully retreat 1980-89 (Centimetres) 36 49 450 517 324
Farm (flood plain) Farm (flood plain) Road side (flood plain) Housing area (ridge) Housing area (ridge)
Table 3 Level of inundation at various sites (Data collected by author and field project work 1985-1994) Categories are based on White, 1974.
Site Wulari Bolori Zajeri Abbaganaram Old Maiduguri Bulunkuttu Abuja Ngomarigana Gomari airport Pompom village G.R.A (author¶s house) Serious 35 46 51 35 43 52 48 39 26 18 Problem 42 48 39 30 40 46 39 30 25 20
Table 4 Micro relief unit and proposed short term and long term measures.
Unit Flood plain Clay plain Ridge High plain Short Term Stop construction, farming and gravel extraction within 100 meters of river bank. Local containment through ponding. Local containment through ponding. Local containment through ponding. Long Term Canalization of the river with hand clay, steel wire and concrete pillar support. Connection to Master drainage system. Connection to Master drainage system. Connection to Master drainage system.
My special thanks to Sedco Forex Schlumberger for computer assistance
CPA 5 A case of disease and environment:: Migrants of Mahaweli System C (Senviratne, 2003 b) ± effect of climate and poor planning The area designated as System C is the largest single resettlement programme in the Mahaweli Development Project in Uva, Eastern and North Central Provinces of Sri Lanka, where malaria is endemic and many other infectious diseases prevail due to poor quality living environment and drinking water. The home villages are a group of rural settlements located in the wet zone of Sri Lanka, which is comparatively healthy and malaria free. The detailed statistical tests conducted on the two different environments confirmed that the environment at Mahaweli System C is more hazardous than the home villages (Seneviratne, 2003 b, p 169-170). Further this presentation will reveal the effect of natural (climate) and man made hazards (corruption) in a resettlement programme. There were 20,674 farming families and another about 6000 non-farmer families living within the boundaries of System C in 1998. The estimated total population was 126,758 in 1998 with a gross per capita income of Rupees 2134 and Rupees 102,000 gross income per household. The System C area was settled in a sequence from south to north between the Right Bank main canal and Mahaweli River. It was initially divided into five zones, 9 blocks and about 90 villages. The zone 1 was comprised of the old irrigation schemes under Mapakada, Dambarawa and Horabora tanks, which was incorporated into the System C. The zone 2 was established in 1981, zone 3 in 1982, zone 4 in 1983 and zone 5 in 1988. An additional zone was established in 1989 in the north eastern sector of the System C. The general planning programme of the Accelerated Mahaweli Development Programme directs the construction of the infrastructure, arrival of the settlers and the establishment of the services. The evolution process of these three activities cannot be truly enclosed in a given temporal framework as they do not follow and orderly development. The physical infrastructure development of the area is presented in here within two time scales.
9.2.1 The arrival and the first five years 9.2.2 six years to the end of survey in April 2001. 9.2.1 Arrival and the first five years The major roads, canals and access roads were constructed before the arrival of the settlers, but they were not fully functional during this period and the area resembled a settlement in the middle of the jungle. This is a common feature of the early period of the resettlement in the dry zone of Sri Lanka, which is described by all the literature as a period of serious poverty and social isolation. The functioning of some basic facilities as given by the settlers are given in Table 9.1 and Figure 9.1 shows the location of services available to the farmers during this period. Table 9.1 the nature of the services available to the farmer in the first five years (as given by the settlers) Service Unit of operation Quality of service as given by the farmer rural Poor Poor Poor Very poor Very poor
Health Education Transport Communi cations Financial
Health camps- One hospital at Girandurukotte Rural school Main road No proper postal service/ no telephone facility Development authority, family, friends and money lender
9.2.2 Five years to the end of survey in April 2001 There was slow progress in the development of the infrastructure at System C, even after about ten years of settlement. However, it is clear that some basic facilities have begun to function at an acceptable level of efficiency by 1990. The health facilities, which were available to the farmer indicate that there were visiting physicians, birth attendants and health workers in the study area. The major changes in the infrastructure began in and around 1994, with the completion of the construction of the main road link from Mahiyangana to Polonnaruwa and many other sub-roads, which connected the distant villages with the two major trading and communication centres at Dehiattakandiya and Girandurukotte. The farmers indicate that the change of government and the reduction of the terrorist threat in and around 1995, brought a new stage of development to the study area. The daily transport links with the home villages were established during this period, by the express bus services, which are primarily operated as a service for the increased travel of security personnel and auxiliary labour to the war zone. The regular postal, communication and banking services were established between 1995 and 1998. The hospital at Dehiattakandiya was equipped and was able to attend to almost all the common infectious diseases and many of the serious chronic diseases. During the early part of this period six rural dispensaries were established in the zonal headquarters, but about two were later abandoned due to reduction in the annual health expenditure. The private health care services were established during this period and the respondents indicated that they use about nine private health care units for treatment of diseases. During the survey period, the researcher took a simple count of services available in the sample villages and along the road links to the sample villages, which is shown in Figure 9.1b and Table 9.2. The respondents¶ associate this rapid growth in services to securing the area by the armed forces, the cash flow generated by war related activities and the rehabilitation of funding of the repair or construction of the infrastructure through the overseas loan and aid programme. The researcher used these facilities during his stay at the field area and was able to phone home daily, transfer cash to a private bank at Dehiattakandiya by fax within an hour, order his cooked lunch from a hotel and fuel his vehicle regularly. In addition, about three visits were made to Dehiattakandiya hospital and private health services to observe the services
provided by them. Three pharmacies were visited and antibiotics and painkillers were bought without any prescription to test and confirm the casual attitude of the Sri Lankans and their pharmacists towards drug abuse as identified by some researcher. The researcher visited the two commercial banks at Dehiattakandiaya during the period after harvest and observed the loan repayment process of the farmers. The researcher decided to wait in the queue and deposit some money into his account at home as a strategy to observe the flow of cash, and the wait lasted about forty-five minutes at each occasion. The emergence of private commercial banks has begun to reduce the farmer¶s dependence on moneylenders, which was confirmed by the Mangers of two private commercial banks at Dehiattakandiya. The managers are of the view that the employed children have begun to improve the house and property at System C.
Table 9.2 The services available in the study area during the main survey
Service Location Quality of service as given by the farmer Fair to good Poor Good
Hospital Dispensaries Private Health services Education
Dehiattakandiya and Girandurukotte Nuwaragala, Siripura and Lihiniyagama Dehiattakandiya, Girandurukotte, Siripura, Lihiniyagama Secondary Schools at Dehiattakandiya, Belaganwewa and Siripura. Primary schools at every unit. Daily links to home villages Telephone facilities Direct dialling Dehiattakandiya, Girandurukotte and Siripura Rural banks at Dehiattakandiya Services provided by the government
Fair to good
Transport Communicat ions Financial Public utilities
9.3 The coping process of the migrant at System C The coping process of the migrant was observed and recorded during the survey and additional information was collected on a subsequent fieldwork programme in April 2000. The data collected fall into two major categories; the survey and life history. The historical perspective of diseases is therefore constructed from the recall data collected during the survey and life histories. The life history data of the migrants began with the preparation for the journey to System C and ended at the time of the survey, though some information on earlier times were also recorded, when it was voluntarily revealed. The presentation on the coping with disease at System C is based on a format constructed mainly on a methodology borrowed mainly from the research presentations of Lund (1989), Sørensen (1996) and Baker (1999). These publications were used extensively to formulate the presentations of life history information. In the selection and presentation of the case histories repetition of information was avoided, by not presenting the whole script of the life history survey. Three stages are identified and used in the presentation of the process of coping of the migrant. 1. Preparation to leave 2. Arrival and the first five years 3. Six years to the end of survey in April 2000 9.3.1 Preparation to leave The prime push factor in the sample population was landlessness, which accounts for 73 percent of the migration. A detailed picture of the reason to migrate is given in Table 9.3. A further 13 percent of the sample had a special social reason to accept the offer of land ranging from land disputes with the siblings to cross-caste marriage, though their main objective was to obtain land. Another14 percent were displaced by the construction of the largest storage reservoir of the development programme. This displacement was a result of a long-term study on the stability of slopes and rates of soil erosion, which indicated the probability of serious land degradation in the Mahaweli valley slopes in and around the present site of the storage reservoir. In a feasibility study conducted for the Mahaweli Development Programme with
the help of UNDP in 1976, a recommendation was made by the researcher to stop the tobacco cultivation and resettlement of the chena farmers (Seneviratne, 1977). The tobacco cultivation was stopped in 1985 and the chena (slash and burn cultivation) farmers were offered land in the System C. The remainder of the migrants has left their home villages for various social and personal reasons as given in the Table 9.3.
The visits to the home villages revealed that the migrants were living in highly congested conditions on ancestral land, land donated by the feudal lords, village development schemes of various types and on rent. Further, these visits revealed that none of the migrants owned a land area equal or bigger in size to his plot at System C in their home villages.
Table 9.3 The primary reason for leaving the home village
Reason Land Paddy rice land Land and paddy rice land Land dispute Land in the home village is not enough Land submerged (Victoria Dam) Land inherited by the youngest brother Land fragmented within the family Relatives do not help Relatives do not agree to my marriage Relatives create problems Expecting a better economic life Expecting a better future for children Seeking independence Accompanying friends Love for Mahaweli Development Programme No employment in the home village Total No. 33 16 9 1 1 12 4 1 4 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 90 Percent 37 18 10 1 1 14 4 1 4 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 100
The following explanations and descriptions of the home village siblings depict the true picture of why the landless peasant was ready for migration to a malaria endemic
frontier agricultural area. This type of conflict can be supported from Baker (1999). Mother referring to the migrant son who has no land in the home village: 'He has no land here. See we do not have land here. I am a labourer.' Brother referring to the migrant: 'He used to fight with us over land and even after he went to the new settlement, he came two to three times and fought with us, but for the last eight years he has not come. We have no connections with him. We hear that he has a shop and a lorry, it is good that he stays there.' Father on his daughter, who eloped with her lover to the new settlement: 'She eloped with him. He is lower cast. I will not take him to my house.' Granduncle on his nephew who is the migrant: 'It was a secret they kept. One day they packed every thing and left. Then after about eight months they came in the morning and destroyed their old house in the common property, collected all the timber and bricks, and loaded them into a truck and left by evening'. Therefore the exact reason for the decision to migrate is of a more complex nature, but the µland¶ is the primary aim to accept the known and unknown risks of the new settlement, which they constructed from the stories of old, settlers. Within the context of the above-mentioned scenario, the migrant made the preparations, to face the threat of isolation, disease and poor health care facilities at System C. These preparations were of two types. Firstly, the selected migrants were regularly briefed by the Mahaweli Development Authority, through the village officer on the use of prophylactics for malaria, the material required for the travel and the first few days and the material and financial help available for them at the time of arrival. Secondly, the migrants have received information on the general condition of the resettlement process from the farmers who have already migrated to dry zone farm settlements. The migrants
to collect financial and material resources to be taken to the new settlement used these two types of information. A few food items, spices, herbs, herbal preparations, western medicine in form of pain killers and antiseptic lotions, cooking utensils and timber for the construction of a shelter were the major items gathered for the journey. The farmers with chronic illnesses carried their medicinal requirements with them. The information from five selected life histories are presented here and these cases will be continually used as supporting evidence in the two remaining stages in relation to coping with disease at System C. These five were selected to present a cross section of the farmer from different levels of income and association with their home villages. This is because, it was clear to the researcher that these two factors are directly related to the process of coping and improving the living standard. In addition the level of response during the first two visits was also taken into consideration and the selection was made from the group of most responsive. 184.108.40.206 Preparation to leave ± the case histories Case 1 µMy family was very kind to me. They collectively helped me with money and timber. My sister prepared some food for us the day we were leaving, which lasted about three days. We brought with ourselves lot of medicine including drugs for prevention of malaria¶. Case 2 µMy father applied for the land and when he was selected, he asked me to come with him and on the advice of my wife, I accepted the offer of my father. My father did all the preparatory work while I was working as a daily paid labourer in the plantation. We brought a lot of medicine including drugs for prevention of malaria¶ Case 3 µ I was a very poor man in the village and we were living in a small plot of land given by the landlord. My extended family was not kind to me and I was not very close to them. Therefore, there was not much I could do, other than to collect some money by selling the jewellery of my wife and daughter. The son of my landlord gave us 1000 rupees on no time limit, which I have paid back 4 years after
coming here. That money helped me to build a house for my family. It took me three years to pay it. I brought only the drugs for malaria ¶. Case 4 µMy extended family was engulfed in land disputes over our ancestral land, which is not legally allocated to us by our father. It was submerged by the construction of Victoria Dam. The compensation was paid, but when it was divided among the family, no one had enough money to buy land at Teldeniya. We used our share of compensation to build the house we live in now. I brought some drugs but not much¶. Case 5 µ I did not own wet land in the home village. When our land was submerged in the Victoria reservoir and we were offered land in System C, I decided to come because, I like to cultivate rice paddy. I used the compensation to begin my life here, though there was some help from my people. I did bring medicine for simple illnesses and tablets given by the health authorities for malaria¶. It is clear from the above information that the farmers have used the primary coping strategies available to them and sought help from the extended family to be ready for the uncertainty at the new settlement. However a few were able to gather some help from outside their family domain, either when the extended family was not in a position to help them or have refused helps. This arose from the poor economic situation of most of the home village sibling families, who were not capable of rendering all the help needed by the migrant. 9.3.2. Arrival and the first five years The arrival at the new settlement is as complex as leaving (Table 9.4). All the migrants knew of the health threat and isolation in the first few years, but as most of them indicated, they had no other option to obtain land and accepted the challenge of coming to System C. At the time of the survey, it was clear to the researcher that the experiences of the new settlers at System C at arrival were similar in character to the descriptions given by Farmer (1957). But the System C migrant had more auxiliary sources of income originating from the large scale
construction work in the Mahaweli development Authority and the war related services. The majority of the migrants travelled alone to the new settlement. But still they formed a group among themselves, based on the home village unit as some of them have previously met at the interviews in their respective district headquarters and briefing programmes or at the office of the village officer (Grama Niladhari). Some of them were organised into camps and gangs to cut the drainage canals and the groupings emerged from these work units. The rest of the migrants came with a helper as advised by the Mahaweli Development Authority and the type of helper was mainly a sibling, though the relationship to the migrant varied heavily (Table 9.4). This is a coping strategy used by farmers in all types of migration; temporary, seasonal, permanent, spontaneous and institutionalised as given in many publications on the nature of farmer migrations from Farmer (1957) to Baker (1999). It is clear that the ability of the accompanying person is of little value other than availability as daughters of 16 and 17 years of age and a grandmother of 58 years of age have accompanied the farmer on his first visit to the settlement.
Table 9.4 Nature of arrival at System C
Nature of Arrival With the group but alone With brother With wife With father With son With father in law All the family With grand mother With mother With mother in law With two daughters (mother was away in Emirates) With mother and a son With mother and father With mother and brother in law With father in law and brother in law With a mason friend Total No 49 8 2 9 5 4 1 1 2 2 1 1 2 1 1 1 90 Percent 56 9 2 10 6 4 1 1 2 2 1 1 2 1 1 1 100
220.127.116.11 Arrival and the first five years ± case histories The information on the infrastructure development and its effect on family, socio-economic life and health are repetitive in the life history records. The case one will give the full account of the respondent and the information presented in the case one is not repeated in cases 2, 3, 4 and 5. Case 1 µ When we came the Mahaweli Authority had not completed the land allocation survey and we were put into camps with big tents. The MA supplied us with a food ration composed of rice, pulses and dried fish. Sometimes we used to get tinned fish and fruits, which they said, were provided by some foreign NGO¶s. Luckily I was not affected by malaria, but all my neighbours were affected by malaria within a month or so and some of them became seriously ill. The only medical facility available at that time was a camp hospital for us and the workers of the Mahaweli Authority. The doctors who worked there were very kind to us, and specially the lady doctor was like a mother to us. Mahaweli Authority vehicles transferred the very serious cases of disease to either Kandy or Badulla. I can remember one day the lady doctor gave her own vehicle to transport someone who was critically ill to Kandy. She was like God sent to us. We took our preventives and some of the vitamin tablets given by the doctors at the camp. It was a terrible time, alone and far away from home. This situation continued until we received our land and then I began constructing the house with the help of my brother and a mason (a relative) who came from my home village. Within three months of the arrival, my family joined me, but two of my children stayed with my siblings at home because they were in secondary school. My self, my wife and two children were subjected to some minor diseases many times during the first three years. Epidemics of diarrhoea, hepatitis, eye infections, dysentery and typhoid were a common occurrence, though they troubled none of us. Thanks to God. Slowly in the first five years, we managed to settle down to our new life. The cultivation was not easy, but we are used to hard life and all of us worked very hard and we managed. The authorities helped us with advice, subsidised fertiliser and sometimes the government Paddy Marketing Board bought our produce. However, in case of serious financial
crisis we had to seek help from the family at home and moneylenders. The roads, schools and dispensaries were constructed during this time and life became better. However many people left in the first six months and some more left within a year. The abandoned land was allocated to some newcomers from other parts of the country and the friends of the administration or politicians took some. The incidence of diseases, including malaria began to reduce slowly in the first three years and continued to decrease. Since the road connection to Polonnaruwa and Badulla was opened, System C became very busy and we could visit home village to see our relatives and take treatment for serious diseases.¶ Case 2 µIt was very difficult at the beginning. But we do not have any other option don¶t we? There was corruption in the Mahaweli Authority. They did not give our ration properly, only the NGO¶s did some thing better. However, with the help our siblings and my father, I have managed to build a temporary house and bring my family within six months of my arrival. Malaria was a serious problem and my wife¶s asthma became a problem in the early period for about two years. We used to get all the medicine for her from the home village, when we travel for the New Year celebrations. Our friends who travelled to home villages for various reasons brought some other drugs. Transportation was a serious problem until the new roads were built and we felt isolated form our siblings¶. Case 3 µMalaria affected me very badly and I felt like I am going to die. I was away from System C for about six months and my friends looked after my land and the temporary house. The lady doctor took care of me very well and she encouraged me to stay on my return from the home village. My wife contracted hepatitis and was admitted to Kandy hospital. Thank God! Any serious disease did not affect my children, though two of them had this tendency to contract eye infection during the dry season¶. Case 4 µMalaria was a serious problem for my family and me. My wife could never adjust to this environment and suffered heavily from asthma during that period. The isolation from
our known people was a problem to my wife and children. The transportation of produce was a serious problem in the beginning and it affected our income because we had to sell our produce at the field sites. Anyhow, we managed to build a decent house and for the first time in our lives we felt as free from the unnecessary obligations to family property¶. Case 5 µ I always wanted to have my own paddy land and I was happy that I got it. Life at the beginning was very troublesome and malaria was the most serious threat to my life at that time. However, my family did not suffer much from malaria and they adjusted to the situation better than I did. Lack of a secondary school delayed the education of my daughter by about three years. We missed our herbs and edible medicinal plants at home villages during this period¶. The life history records and the information on personal accounts of diseases indicate that, within about two weeks of arrival almost all the respondents and accompanying helpers were subjected to some form of malaria. In addition, they were subjected to many varieties of diarrhoea infections and fever including a few cases of typhoid (Tables 9.5 and 9.6). The percentages in the Table 9.5 are calculated out of the total sample population of the survey, which is 511 and Table 9.6 is constructed from a sample of 143, who were willing to talk in detail about their experience with disease. Table 9.5, Occurrence of Malaria within the arrival phase of the settlement at Mahaweli System C.
Number of times affected by malaria less than 1 1 to 3 times 4 to 6 times more than six times Percent N=511 02 73 21 04
Table 9.6 The multiple response data on infectious diseases during the first year at System C as remembered by 143 respondents from 84 families.
Disease Malaria Diarrhoea infections Typhoid Jaundice Viral hepatitis Skin infections Urinary tract infections Undesignated serious fevers and digestive system diseases Number of disease cases 121 143 21 11 8 5 4 34
Though malaria is not the major disease on record in the recall data of the survey, it was the most feared and serious disease to the respondents. According to the respondents, malaria was feared because of its association with high fever and long term weakness of the body system, which affected their farming activities. Diarrhoea resulted from drinking unsafe water, eating meat of wild animals and consumption of the locally brewed alcohol known as µkassippu¶. All the health personnel identify this type of alcohol as an alcohol with high probability of dehydration and poisoning. As indicated by the respondents, typhoid and viral hepatitis occurred in form of epidemics during the dry season, but were quickly controlled by the health authorities. Most of the respondents believed that undesignated fevers and jaundice were a result of the weakness caused by continuous attacks of malaria. The respondents believe that the skin infections were a result of change of water quality and the medical personnel were of the view that there is a connection between poor housing and skin infections. The majority of the urinary tract infections were related to the dry low humid environment, which leads to dehydration and the presence of impurities in the well water in the central part of the resettlement area. The data collected from the base hospital and two dispensaries, which were established in 1987 show and confirm the disease panorama recorded in the life history surveys and field work programme. A detailed discussion of this table is presented in the sub-section on social cost of coping.
The life history records indicate that the highest prevalence of malaria at System C occurred between December and March in the rainy season, diarrhoea infections between May and November during the dry season and viral hepatitis during April and August, when most of the national cultural festivals are held. The studies Amerasinghe and Indarjith (1994 ) and data of the Annual Health Bulletin (1996) can support these patterns. The living environment was full of hazards with no safe water to drink and no safe water for bathing in the dry season and living in a temporary house. The threat of wild life was a reality during this time period. The snakebites and destruction of rice farms and attacks on rice storage by elephants were common in the areas closer to the river. There were three cases of death and about 11 injuries sustained from elephant attacks in this area during this early period of settlement. A fascinating tale was recorded from a respondent who lives at the end of the road and near the river in the settlement and I like to produce it here. µ The elephants are very intelligent. When the electric fence was built to keep them out of the farming area, they found a way to break it. We were guarding our rice fields one day in the night with the full moon and the neighbours began to warn us of possible elephant attack on our farm. We got out from our hut and watched with amazement, as a bull elephant brought a tree trunk from the forest and throwing it in to the electrified fence. We made lot noise with shouting and lighting small fires and using firecrackers and the elephant ran into the forest. We thought that the frightened elephant will not come the next day and did not go for a night watch. But the shouting and lighting of firecrackers in the neighbouring farms indicated that the elephant has come and by the time we got to our farms, four big elephants and a baby elephant were happily eating our tender rice. We fired shots and injured one and the rest ran away. The total damage in four fields was estimated to be about one quarter of the crop, which is an equivalent of about 4000 rupees (1986 price). Later that year after the harvest, we threshed our rice and stored in the outer room and slept in the living area. My self, my wife and two infants were sleeping in the living area. I woke up to a noise of a big blower and I knew the elephant is nearby and angry. I and my wife quietly collected our infants and walked in to the garden and hid behind a tree (old mahogany tree) and watched with
amazement as the elephant was eating the rice by breaking the bags one by one, by hitting them with the leg and sucking the rice with his trunk and throwing it in to his mouth. We did not move and stood still for about a half an hour until it walked away calmly to the fields and into darkness. Then we ran towards the neighbour's house and it was an experience of a lifetime. You should have been here. Now we can laugh but my wife did not sleep in the house for about two weeks and she went to her brother¶s house¶. (I went to see this herd of elephants with the farmer and two of his friends and on my way I saw what the elephants have done to the fence. At three points on the fence there were big tree trunks, indicating their attempts to break the fence, and at one point they have already broken two wires out of five wires of the fence). The communication links with the home villages were poor during this period and it resulted in anxiety in the women folk, especially when some of their children were schooling in the home villages. In 1986 there was terrorist activity (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) in the northern part of the settlement and a wife of a respondent died of shock after hearing of a massacre by the terrorists. The greatest anxiety was related to the sickness of children and specially infants, but according to the information collected from the respondents, the camp doctors in the beginning and the doctors at the hospital since 1987, have worked overtime and helped financially by contributing to the cost of emergency treatment of infants and children. Most of the respondents are satisfied with the help received from the Mahaweli Development Authority, though the majority of them indicated that there were some corrupt practices in relation to the allocation of land and distribution of the free food ration. Most of the respondents associate this type of corruption with the higher officials and the political authority, indicating that the lower ranks had no control over the issues as they have to carry out the orders from above. However, as two respondents have indicated, their friendship with a senior officer in the Mahaweli Development Authority and a politician respectively, helped them obtain land near the main road. Therefore the source of corruption in relation to land allocation in the System C, is not only institutional, but also social. The researcher has observed this phenomenon since his association with the resettlement programme in 1963 and agrees to the
explanations given by the respondents, on the sources of corruption. The respondents estimated that about 20 to 30 percent returned to the home villages within the first month or two and the Mahaweli Development Authority confirming a figure of about 25 to 35 percent. In addition another 10 to 15 percent left within the first year, mainly due to inability to cope with the harsh living conditions and malaria. Therefore about a maximum of 35 percent returned home within the first year of resettlement, but 5 to 10 percent returned at various stages within the first 5 years. The abandoned land units were allocated to the supplementary lists; refugee farmers from the war affected areas and some service personnel working in the area. 9.3.3 Six years since arrival to April 2000 The people who have decided to stay and have settled to live a life of a migrant farmer have described their attempt to live and coping with the environment as troublesome, but 70 percent of them think that µit is good that they came', though only 17 percent answered µhappy¶ as an answer to the question 'what do you think of the decision you made to come here?' The Table 9.7 shows all the responses recorded as replies to this question and the 69 percent was obtained by adding the first three rows of data, which has a common view that it is good to be at System C. One percent of the respondents thinks of going back to the home village and waits for an acceptable financial offer for their land or securing employment in the home villages. Another 1 percent said that the resettlement is better than the home village. The one percent, who is ready to move to home villages or near the home village are the families in which the children have secured employment in or near the home villages. The income from farming is treated by the
Table 9.7 Thoughts on the present situation
Think that It is good that we came Though it is difficult it is good that we came It is good that we came and we are happy Came to get land for children Troublesome, but will stay Investment needed Good for people with grown-up children Good but need help Facilities are better here Should have stayed at home Missed the advantages of open market economy Gone home land on lease Facilities are better here Some time it would have been better if we have stayed at home Some time it would have been better if we have stayed at home Mahaweli plan is not working Do not know Total No 5 40 15 4 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 2 2 1 1 8 90 Percent 6 46 17 4 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 2 2 1 1 9 100
farmers as a marginal source, which is subjected to
serious fluctuations resulting from factors such as heavy rain to low market price for rice. Therefore, the farmer has been always at the mercy of the 'organised group of traders, who specialise in money lending and securing the harvest at very low prices'. It is the view of the farmers that these traders are always supported by the political and administrative authorities and which is also noted by Farmer (1957), De Vroey and Shanmugaratnam (1984) Lund (1989), Sørenson (1996) and Baker (1999). Though this relationship is not constructive, some farmers have indicated that a slow progress can be made with the help of these traders, as the government is not willing to organise the paddy trade properly or establish a comprehensive insurance scheme. The researcher agrees with the farmers and his personal experience with farming and political victimisation in 1977 confirms the strength of the local and foreign influences in the process of financial and management corruption in a poor nation like Sri Lanka. Further, as one of the farmer activists has indicated µthe removal of fertiliser subsidy is a great blow to us. Our Member of Parliament said it is on the advice of the World Bank the subsidy was removed. World Bank and our
rich people are all the same. They just want profits and our suffering is ours.¶ The primary change in the economic status in this period in the farming families arises from the employment of their children and wives or auxiliary income from practising craftwork. Some auxiliary employment opportunities have originated from four major sources, such as Middle East employment, readymade garment manufacturing, the armed forces and service industry. Seven percent of the wives and 0.4 percent of the children have left for Middle East as housemaids and drivers respectively. Eleven percent of the children are employed in the garment industry, packaging industry and civil security service. Two percent of the children are employed in the armed forces and the police force. The income generated from the children and wife is primarily used for the construction of a better house with cement and brick and acquiring some basic consumables like a radio cassette and a bicycle or a hand tractor. The researcher has recorded renovation or building of 14 new houses, 11 toilets, 6 wells, 1 pipe-borne water supply system, 1 bakery, 2 kiosks, 1 shop, two rice mills, buying of three hand tractors and 2 televisions within the sample population between 1998 January and 2001 April. In addition dowry money, compensation paid for the death of a soldier or serious disability of a soldier, money saved from recovering from disease and joint commercial ventures between friends have also being mentioned as sources of financing the new house construction or buying various items. The unemployment among the youth at System C, remains high among 15 to 25 year olds, who have not completed the Senior Secondary School. Recently most of them have taken to fruit growing as there is an increased demand for fruits from the armed force bases, urban centres and travellers. In addition, collection, processing and packaging of medicinal herbs, hand tractor repair work, masonry, carpentry and illegal alcohol brewing are practised by some of the respondents. The data in Table 9.8 indicate the problems of the farming population in the resettlement programme at System C. The categories in the table are composed from the replies received for an open ended question on listing the three major problems. The general pattern discovered in System C agrees with the socio-economic research conducted by many in the late 1980s and 1990s.
The low-income status continues within the sample group of respondents, though four of the farmers have managed to rise above the general low-income level with the help of income generated by their children. Some wives mentioned the addiction to alcoholism of the household head as responsible for their low economic status. The life history information confirms and further clarifies the information collected through questionnaire survey and informal interviews. All the five cases indicate the inability of farming as a means in the struggle against poverty. Almost all the researchers quoted in this study are noting this. However the following case histories indicate that they were capable of coping with many of the life events and survive. Case 1 µ I have managed to complete the construction of the house in 1995 and got some new furniture. I have given two children in marriage in 1991 and 1993. They all have got partners from the home village areas, because I wanted them to marry people from our group (caste). The youngest got married three months ago and he is living with us, because he is going to inherit the land, though I have given the other two children one share each from the wet land. I have got an extra wetland from one of my friends, who left for home village.
Table 9.8 Major problem as given by respondents (multiple responses)
Major problem Market facilities High cost of inputs Drinking water Difficulty of getting investment finance Emergency medical facilities Employment for Children Alcoholism Our poverty Poor soil condition of the high land plot Respiratory diseases Lack of provision to cultivate what we want Neglect by the Mahaweli Development Authority and the government War No 90 90 68 57 34 23 22 19 17 16 14 10 5 Percent 100 100 72 60 36 24 23 20 18 17 15 11 5
18.104.22.168 Six years since arrival to April 2000 ± case histories
The area is also now fairly developed. We have Dehiattakandiya hospital, which has a lot of services. The bad doctor who was there has been transferred and we have a good doctor now. There are two other doctors (Registered Medical Practitioners) and a nurse operating out patient clinics in the vicinity. We go to the private place in case of minor illness or in an emergency. We have three wheelers to go there in an emergency. There is a daily bus service to my home village now and communication is easy. We have telephone at Girandurukotte and we can phone my son at work in Badulla. Our school is well developed now and have advanced level classes, but the only problem is that science teachers do not stay over here, but my daughter is going to go to classes at Mahiyangana. We are expected to get electricity soon and they are clearing the road (He was connected to single-phase AC power supply in 2000). The German government is going to help us to repair the canals and weirs and we are going to work hard and get the full benefits. Only problem remaining is the drinking water during the latter part of the dry season. Malaria is almost gone now, but it becomes a problem in the rainy season. We all use nets and keep our house surrounding clean. We burn 'madurutala' (a herb in the camellia family) and coils, when there are too many mosquitoes. My son is the only one with some medical problem now, as he suffers from an allergy to flowering paddy, but we have taken some drugs from the doctor at Dehiattakandiya and doing some 'kema' (eating of a food which is prepared by Edura) and it is getting better (At the fourth visit and the April 2000 visit, the son told me about great power of Kema, as he has not had much of a problem since he has taken the food prepared by Edura, but he still takes the drugs prescribed by the western medical doctor, when the problem becomes severe)¶. Case 2 µNow the life is better, but it is hard work. I have managed to build a decent house in 1997, and my son who is working in the army has helped us to buy furniture and build a good toilet. He is also going to build a house here and I hope and pray that he will be secure, because he is at the front these days (He was well until April 2000 visit, but his
friend died two days before my visit to System C in April 2000, to which funeral I did attend. The dead soldier was the one who accompanied me during my first reconnaissance visits in 1997 October). I have three more children and my daughter is schooling in the home village, because she is taking her GCE (Advanced Level) this year and the other is in the local school. Farming is the best thing a man can do, but it has no value today. We do not get a fair price for our produce and the traders have made a monopoly here. All the farm inputs are very expensive and the government is not doing much to help us. The major health problem now is Asthma. All of us have something like it. I think it is the dust. Anyhow, the doctors say that there is now good medicine for it and when it becomes serious we go to the doctor, otherwise we inhale the 'dehikola' and 'nasananda oil' steam (an inhaler made by adding lime leaves and a Ayurvedic oil preparation into hot water). It is good. The cancers are on the increase¶. Case 3 µ We worked hard and made the life better. I want to bring up my four children with good education. I have managed to build a two-room house with cement floor, but we still cook in the outside kitchen. It is good that way as flies and cockroaches stay away. Not much of a problem from disease now, but my mother is very weak now and she likes to stay in my house. Case 4 µImprovements to the house were made in 1997, and we built a new toilet. My wife weaves baskets and sells by the road side during the weekends to local tourists and army personnel, who use this road to go to Kandy or Polonnaruwa. I have secured a part time job in a guesthouse at Dehiattakandiya and go there to clean the garden two days a week. These two incomes help us to collect some money for an emergency and as you can see we have begun to build a small room for a permanent store to sell the mats. Our children are doing well. The farming alone cannot provide our requirements. No serious health problems, other than the chest pain of my child. Doctors say it is not serious, but he is good in athletics and want to treat it. We have to find a cure for this. (My advice was to visit the Teaching Hospital at
Kandy. On my fourth visit, they had good news on the sickness of the child, as it had something to do with anxiety). The doctor said it might or may not be cured, as the child is a sensitive character. We are going to look after him well¶. Case 5 µ I have improved my house, but it is not yet finished. I have built a good toilet. There are many expenses in the family, specially cost of schooling children. When they grow up and begin to help me I will be O.K. Farming is becoming a problem, because the price of rice is highly variable and the government has stopped bulk buying. They say in the open market economy there is no government control. May be we will have to leave farming and work somewhere else, as lot of people does. Now there are no serious health problems, as you know my daughter has to wait another three years for the operation (until she is about 12). The food is becoming expensive and we cannot eat well. I fear that it may affect our children. The pocketed foods we have today have no strength. My wife is planning to go to Middle East¶. 9.4 The return migration and new arrivals The discussion on the three-stage scenario of coping indicates that many have made a serious attempt to adjust and adapt to the new environment, but some have not been able to cope with the situation for many social and personal reasons. At the time of the survey, the number of children schooling in the home village or having left for employment recorded a value of 23 percent. The lack of immunity to malaria and effect of chronic skin disease has resulted in keeping two children and one wife respectively in the home village with the siblings. Seven percent of the farmers, who could not cope with the difficulties, have begun a life in two places. They have built a small mud house and stay at System C during the planting and harvesting seasons and the family lives permanently in the home village, where the wife and some of the children are employed in various types of unskilled and semi-skilled jobs. These families have built a small house on ancestral land, with the use of income generated from the System C, as they have a very cordial relationship with their siblings. Further the household heads in this category practise a craft, which is valued in the home village. This
group was represented by a mason, carpenter, gem miner, farm terrace builder, construction site labourer, a rubber latex tapper and µan edura¶ (faith healer). The reason given for securing land at System C was stated as to be given to a child or children. Between the time of the beginning of the survey and the last visit in April 2000, three of these families have finally left after leasing their land for an undisclosed number of years for sums varying between 150, 000 rupees to 230, 000 rupees. Though, this practise is illegal, the demand for land from the children of the well established farmers at System C and the farmers migrating from the war affected areas, have enabled this group of farmers to receive a high financial gain. The residents of System C believe that the high demand for land in the new settlement originates from the consistency in water supply for farming and a daily express bus linkage to all the home villages. Therefore, many Mahaweli employees and civil servants have begun to acquire land and become permanent residents. The discussions conducted with the officials of the area revealed that about 300 to 400 working and retired minor officials and some senior officials have obtained land for housing only or housing and farming through lease, administrative and political support or on the preferential allocation to former public servants. The researcher managed to meet a senior official who has acquired land through preferential allocation to former public servants and built a house and a shop unit with a view of retiring at System C. 9.5 Social cost of coping: a limited evaluation The data gathered from all types of survey methodologies indicate the social and personal problems arising from resettlement at System C. The continuing survey and the trust developed between the researcher and the respondent enabled the researcher to collect a lot of private information on the coping process. The one-month continuous stay during the third visit to System C enabled the researcher to be part of their life. I have managed to stay with them in their farms and sleep in their houses and offer a ride in my vehicle. The observations made during these encounters indicate that the life style of the resettlement farmer has not changed much from the researchers own experience in 1963, but I have a notion that, the large scale settlement plan of the System C area has definitely helped to construct a more
complex society than in most other resettlement units of the past. It is clear that most of the continuing settlers have suffered heavily from isolation, malaria and other infectious diseases like typhoid and viral hepatitis, crop failure, but as they collectively indicate, that they have stayed on, because they were strong enough to bear the suffering (Table 9.9). Table 9.9 records the indebtedness of five farming families caused by ill health. These farmers were not discouraged by the indebtedness and are working with determination to succeed. The human loss and social cost between the time of arrival to the time of survey, as explained as a result of migration is listed in Table 9.10. The data collected from home villages are also presented with a view to compare the intensity of social disturbance due to migration.
Table 9.9 The indebtedness of the respondents due to disease as recorded during the survey
Disease Asthma Cancer (died during the last visit) Cancer Expenditure About 300 monthly A total of 25,000 Source of funding Part-time mechanic Part of the wetland was leased
A total 40,000
About 500 monthly
About 400 monthly
Private bank mortgage on the wetland. The children have willingly stopped schooling and cultivating extra land to repay the debt. Sons help the family to pay medical bills and have delayed their marriage. One of the sons joined the armed forces to support the family Part-time labourer
Suicides recorded among the mature adults in both areas were associated with excessive alcohol consumption, which led to drinking of pesticide and accidental hanging while heavily intoxicated with alcohol. One case of suicide in the home villages of a 17-year-old female was related to a failed love affair. Though there is no record of teenage suicide in the sample population at System C, the researcher attended a funeral of a 19-year-old female in a nearby village, during the field programme. The case of drowning at System C
occurred due to burial in quick sand, while the respondent was wading across River Mahaweli on a hunting expedition. The higher level of health risks at System C is clearly indicated in Table 9.10. Most of these sicknesses are associated with malaria or asthma, which began to occur among the respondents since their arrival in System C. The impact of the higher social disturbance due to dislocation of the life pattern is clearly shown in the data, with the categories of eloping of girl children, unwanted marriage, divorce and eloping of wife record only at System C. This type of social problems led to the identification of resettled people as a group of relocated people by Sørensen (1996), who investigates some of the intricate social disturbances in the resettlement programme in Sri Lanka. It is her belief that these disturbances arise mainly due to isolation, lack of other entertainment activities, unemployment of school leavers and excessive alcohol use of the householder. A few older respondents related acute asthma in children and increased number of cancers, which they refer to as special sicknesses, to the rising level of air and water pollution in the home villages. 9.6 Conclusion The majority of migrants utilise all the resources available to them to cope with life at System C and establish a better health situation in the family. Burdened with poverty of the nation and themselves, they have a limited range of coping capability to overcome most of the problems of the physical and human environment like endemic malaria, construction of good quality housing, improve conditions of farming and social security. There are minor differences between individual farming families and the overall scenario of coping is similar to the strategies adopted by similar groups of people elsewhere in the resettlement programme as observed by many researchers. The ability to cope therefore is decided upon by factors like skills in auxiliary employment, income generated by their children and loss of income through sickness and disease. It is clear from the data presented those problems related to ill health and disease has an important impact on the coping with life at System C. Health has played a very important role as indicated by the majority of the farmers in their attempt to cope with life at System C.
Table 9.10 Human loss and social cost of migration to new settlement as compared with the home villages (multiple responses)
Area System C - n = 90 loss of life with reason drowning - 1 suicide 1 sickness 1 social cost with the occurrence eloping of children ± 4 unwanted marriage - 2 divorce - 2 sickness due to change of environment - 27 eloping of children ± 1 unwanted marriage - 0 divorce - 0 special sickness due to environmental change - 3
Home villages ± n= 90
drowning - 0 suicide ± 2 sickness - 4
The coping with health and disease was troublesome at the beginning and difficult at present. However most of the farmers have managed to overcome the serious threat of disease principally aided by the reduction in the incidence of malaria and increased availability of health service facilities during the last 10 years. Though, the ability of the farming families to cope with their health and other problems are primarily influenced by the constraints formed by location and the institutional indecision on the strategies of resettlement management, most of them have managed to live a life of a poor farmer.
References Amerasinghe, F.P. and Indrajith, N.G. (1994) Post-irrgation breeding patterns of surface water mosquitoes in the Mahaweli Project, Sri Lanka, and comparison with preceding development phases, Journal of Madical Entomology, 31, 4. Baker, V.J. (1999), A Sinhala village in Sri Lanka, Coping with uncertainty, Harcourt Brace and Co., Fortworth. Department of Health, 1996, Annual Health Bulletin, Colombo, Sri Lanka. De Vroey, M. and Shanmugaratnam, N. (1984), Peasant resettlement in Sri Lanka, Tri Star. Farmer, B.H. (1957), Peasant Colonisation in Sri Lanka, Cambridge University Press. Continental Center, Lonvai-LaNeave. Lund, R. (1989) Women in the Mahaweli Area, A feminist Assessment, Paper for CENWOR, March, Colombo. Sørensen, B.R. (1996), Relocated Lives, VU University Press, Amsterdam Cyclone Cyclone is the occurrence of heavy rain and high velocity winds over 100 kilometres per hour together in an area. This type of activity cause heavy to disastrous damage to life and property. Cyclone cannot be avoided, but early warning systems can be utilised to minimise damage. Typhoons, tropical storm, tornadoes, thunderstorms, line squalls (more than one thunderstorm) and lightning storms are also in this category of environmental hazards.
Regionally the names used for these windy and rainy occurrences change
"hurricane" (the North Atlantic Ocean, the Northeast Pacific Ocean east of the dateline, or the South Pacific Ocean east of 160E) "typhoon" (the Northwest Pacific Ocean west of the dateline) "severe tropical cyclone" (the Southwest Pacific Ocean west of 160E or Southeast Indian Ocean east of 90E) "severe cyclonic storm" (the North Indian Ocean) "tropical cyclone" (the Southwest Indian Ocean) (Neumann 1993).
Wind is the major damaging factor in a cyclone or any other related activity mentioned above. Wind pushes any standing object at or over 100 km/hr velocities and when it reaches 200 km/hr most of the brick buildings are destroyed. Normally cyclones originate in the ocean and flow towards land. When the cyclone approaches land it pushes seawater towards the coast and form high waves. This process is called storm surge. The storm surge enters the low-lying areas and floods the area in around beaches and coasts. All the constructions built without proper construction technology are destroyed. The worst damage from a cyclone was reported from Hurrican Katrina. Hurricane Katrina was the costliest and one of the deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States. It was the eleventh named storm, fifth hurricane, third major hurricane, and second Category 5 hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, and was the sixth-strongest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded (http://en.wikipedia.org). The damage was reported to be about 75 billion dollars (2005 US dollars), making it the costliest hurricane in U.S. history. The storm has killed at least 1,836 people, making it the deadliest U.S. hurricane since the 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane. In Sri Lanka Cyclones occur in the eastern, north central and northern provinces. The intensity of the cyclones varies with the strength of low pressure in the Bay of Bengal.
Premathilake (2004) has found a recurrence interval of 14 to 15 for a major cyclone in Sri Lanka since 1964. Since 1964, a major cyclone occurred in 1978 and 1992 and the next one is expected to occur in 2006. In addition cyclonic wind is common in eastern and north central province where incidents related to extreme wind damage is reported about 3 times a year. Blizzard Blizzard is a snowstorm. A blizzard is a severe winter storm condition characterized by low temperatures, strong winds, and heavy snow. They are caused when a high pressure area meets a low pressure area. To be a blizzard the storm must decrease visibility to a quarter of a mile or 400 meters for three consecutive hours, including snow or ice as precipitation, and have wind speeds of at least 35 miles per hour or 56 kilometres per hour , seven in the Beaufort scale). Another standard, according to Environment Canada, is that the winter storm must have winds of 40 km/h (25 mph) or more, have snow or blowing snow, visibility less than 1 km (about 5»8 mile), a wind chill of less than í25 °C (í13 °F), and all of these conditions must last for 4 hours or more, before the storm can be properly called a blizzard.When all of these conditions persist after snow has stopped falling, meteorologists refer to the storm as a ground blizzard. An extreme form of blizzard is a whiteout, when downdrafts coupled with snowfall become so severe that it is impossible to distinguish the ground from the air. People caught in a whiteout can quickly become disoriented, losing their sense of direction (http://en.wikipedia.org). Tornadoes Although tornadoes occur in many parts of the world, these destructive forces of nature are found most frequently in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains during the spring and summer months. In an average year, 800 tornadoes are reported nationwide, resulting in 80 deaths and over 1,500 injuries. A tornado is defined as a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground. The most violent tornadoes are capable of tremendous destruction with wind speeds of 250 mph or more. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. Once a tornado in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, carried a motel sign 30 miles and dropped it in Arkansas (http://www.nssl.noaa.gov) 89
Dust storm and sand storm Dust storm and sand storm are the storms with dust (fine clay and silt particles) and sand ( sand, silt and clay) particles in the air flow at speeds above 60 km/hr. Dust storms are common in arid and semi-arid regions, but they are now drifting and travelling to marginally dry areas. It is formed by speedy convection currents through rapid heating of the ground. If there is enough heat to produce a vortex of rising hot air over fine sand or caly then a dust devil is formed. Large vortices and areas of high pressure deserts in the world produce massive dust storms. Sahel is noted for a place common with dust stroms, but these are present in all semi-arid areas. These can cause fog like low visibiltiy situations and lead to traffic accidents and plane crashes. The simoom or simoon (sîm m, sîm n) is the dustand sand-laden desert wind of N Africa and Arabia that contributes largely to the atmospheric dust over Europe; evidence of the dust from simoon winds has also been found on the seafloor at considerable distances from shore. The haboob is a sandstorm prevalent in the region of Sudan around Khartoum. Sandstorms, the leading edges of which often appear as solid walls of dust as much as 5,050 ft (1,525 m) high, also occur, although less frequently, in the SW United States. The largest single dust strom in the world occurs in the Sahel between November and February, which is known as Harmattan.
Galewela Tornado, 21042006, studied by the field class 2006, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka.
To Dambulla Residual hill (rocky) N
Scale 1: 100 ± direct distance from the sighting of the cloud 9kilometers Key : Main streak of the tornado Sub- streaks of the tornado Main road Track
Roof and house damage Electricity line damage Phone line damage Billboard damage
CSP 6 Harmattan: a hazard or a blessing: nature and occurrence of dust-laden north-easterlies in Borno State, Nigeria. HAZARDS ASSOCIATED WITH HARMATTAN : A. Surface erosion :
Generally the wind deflation is acute on fine sand and loose sandy clay surfaces of the study area during the gusty periods of harmattan. Once the vegetation is removed these surfaces are subjected to wind deflation and large quantities of fine sand and silt is removed from the surface soils. This has aided the process of µdesertification¶ in the area north of a line drawn through villages and towns of Bama, Monguno, Gubio, Dapchi and Jakusko within the Borno State of Nigeria (Table 2). On the open surfaces formed due to village and town expansion, a similar process of deflation can be identified which results in the deflation of clay surfaces and open spaces like playgrounds, compounds, market places and squares. The roadside clay pavements with thin bitumen cover are eroded by the constant wind flow carrying fine sand particles, resulting in road surface cracking in the Northern sector of the Borno State. B. Impact on vegetal environment: The dry dust laden wind quickens the process of change in the vegetal environment of the study area. The grass soon dries off and turns brown to give a dried ± up face to the vegetal environment. The shrubs and trees stand out as green islands on a brown mat, leaves are covered with a layer of dust and by mid November the vegetal environment enters into a resting period in which there is
only a very low or most zero rate of growth. Dry vegetation is highly susceptible to bush fires and an average of 10-12 bush fires are recorded annually between 1981 ± 85 in Borno State which resulted in damage to life and property (Table 3). Though the origin of the fires is not clear the dry and low humid harmattan weather certainly can accelerate the sudden spread of the fire. C. Air transport: A common feature noticed during this season is that the air transportation is very much disturbed in the northern part of the country. The departure and arrival schedules are disturbed and sometimes the flights are cancelled as the visibility drops below 300m (Table 4). Other than Maiduguri the airports of Sokoto, Jos, and Yola are also affected by the haze resulting in complete paralyses of the air transportation network of the country. D. Road Transport: The Seasonal road surfaces with clay or laterite cover turn into dust bowls reminding of desert travel. In the northern most sector of the state the bitumen road surface is covered with a thin layer of moving sand resulting in hazardous driving conditions. Though there are no marked increases in the average number of road accidents during harmattan there is a time delay in travel as poor visibility reduces the average speed of motor vehicles. E. As a Health Hazard: The data collected from the General Hospital and these private clinics in Maiduguri and also from General Hospitals at Gashua and Biu, All in Borno State suggests that harmattan is a period bringing in discomfort to people. The ongoing and aftermath periods of Harmattan had been witnessed to be always associated with high incidence of droplet infection. Most commonly noted were influenza, measles, whooping cough, diptheria, common cold, chicken pox and cerebro ± spinal fever or meningitis. These disease organisms may survive in the dust and may be carried in the air along with dust
particles. The low temperatures of harmattan and dust transport are believed to be an activator of some bacteria and viruses, which remain dormant under reasonably high temperatures. Special emphasis, here in must be laid to the detection of high incidence of CSM (Cerebro ± Spinal Meningitis) as it is called in the study area during the period of observation from 1980 to 1986, claiming victims mostly during or soon after harmattan. Further Harmattan brings in general respiratory problems and other bronchial disorders including allergies and asthma. Catarrh could be seen widely prevalent. Some unpleasant problems like cracking of lips, fingernails and skins, nose bleeding, irritation in the eye, soles of feet becoming rough and thickened or getting cracked have also been witnessed by the populace (Table 5). ADVANTAGES OF HARMATTAN: A Cool weather: As harmattan is the only season with low Temperatures (Fig. 2) in the study area people views it as a rest period after a busy cropping season. B Garden Cultivation: Farmers look forward to harmattan as a season is which they can engage in garden cultivation or cultivation of vegetables. This is an important aspect of the farming life as it brings in an extra income to the farmer. Farmers used to migrate to swamp or lake surroundings and plant vegetables of all types; local and imported varieties like pepper, tomatoes, cabbage, lettuce, onion, pumpkin, egg plant, carrot, French beans, green pea, and cucumber are cultivated in large quantities in the Yobe flood plain, Alo lake area, Jere swamp, Gongola valley and Yedezeram flood plain (Seneviratne, 1985b). The cool weather is welcomed by the people of this area and this is the only season in which one can comfortably sleep indoors without an air conditioner, except areas like Jos and Biu plateau in the northern Nigeria, where the temperature is low throughout the year compared to the rest of the area.
C Dust deposition
Harmattan brings in fine clay silt and sand consisted largely of diatom quartz, feldspar and some phytolites. X-ray analysis showed that the quartz peak was most evident with some suggestion of the presence of feldspar (Schultz, 1975). The estimates made by Sedlmeyer in 1964 showed that the harmattan deposits several thousand million tons of dust every year and is a soil forming factor of significant importance. An experiment conducted using a sediment collection basin gave an average of 1.4 grams / per square meter of dust fall at 20 centimetres above ground level.
Conclusion: Based on the information available it is clear that the harmattan haze or storms are independent of the study area (Table 7). Further as shown in Kalu, the major climatic changes and patterns associated with harmattan are a result of much wider atmospheric phenomenon connected to Sub ± Tropical North Easterlies. But locally, the thick haze lowers temperatures, which in turn are preceded by dust storms. Harmattan is a wind system of a special category. Hidden behind the superficial cool dry North - Easterly air mass is a wind system with diverse characteristics which brings in a supply of clay and silt and increases the soil fertility to some extent, causes havoc to air and road transportation and leads to the propagation of various sicknesses. Soil erosion and its association with harmattan dust storms and gusts have been investigated in the northern most sectors by various authors, (Bawden, 1972; Grove, 1973; Seneviratne, 1986a) and it is clear that the process of desertification is accelerated by it. Health hazards connected with harmattan are yet to be investigated fully. As the western type of medical facilities were introduced into the study area only during the last two decades, little effort has been made towards the collection of data and analysis with reference to the influence of harmattan on various types of maladies. The disturbances to the air and road transportation systems are also not widely felt as the region is basically an agricultural area. At present harmarran brings in more comfort to the vast majority of the people of the study area by reducing temperature and making market gardening possible in swamp margin and river plains.
But, if the study area is to be developed economically and urban centers are to be expanded, the effect of harmattan should be felt more by the populace and damages and losses would surely be increased. References
Bawden, M.G. (1972) Geomorphology in Land Resources of N.E. Nigeria, Land Resources Division Vol.1, The Environment, Tolworth, London El ± Fandy, M.G. (1953) On the physics of dusty atmosphere. Q.J.R. Metrol.So,284 ± 287. Grove, A.T. (1973a) Desertification, in the African Environment in Dalby, A. and Harrison Church, R., Drought in Africa, Report of the 1973 Symposium, Center for African Studies, University of London. Kalu, A.E. (1970) The West African Dust DustPlume:Itscharacteristics and propagation across West Africa in winter. In Morales C., Editor, Saharan dust, Chichester: John Wiley, 95 ± 119. Motainsh, G.H. and Walker, P.H. (1982) Nature and distribution of Harmattan dust, Zeischrift fur geomophologie. 26, 417 ± 35 Sedlmeyer, K.A. (1964) Dar Harmattan, Geographischer Z, Wirt Geogr, 8.11,32± 44. Seneviratne, H.M.M.B.(1991) Micro ± Erosion Processes in A Changing Climatic Environment, in Arid ± Zone Hydrology and Water Resources ed. Gadzama, N.M., University of Ibadan Press, Nigeria. Seneviratne,H.M.M.B.(1985b) Drought and Human Response in two Farming Villages in the Sahelian Region of Borno State, Staff Seminar papers, vol. II, College of Education, School of Humanities, Maiduguri, Nigeria. Pp 21 ± 26. Maiduguri, Nigeria. Pp 21
Seneviratne, H.M.M.B.(1985) Environmental Change and the management of Land Resources of Northern Borno, 29th Annual Conference of the Nigerian Geographical Association, A.B.U., Zaria, Nigeria pp 408 ± 414. Schultz International Ltd (1975) Hadejia River Basin Study Reconnaissance Soil Survey, Vol.C, pp. 12. Thornthwaite,C.W.(1948) An approach towards a rational classification of climate, Geographical Review 38, 55 ± 94.
Mean Minimum, Mean Maximum Temperatures No. of Storms and Haze days ± Nov.-Feb. 1979 ± 1986.
Year 1979 ± 80 1980 ± 81 1981 ± 82 1982 ± 83 1983 ± 84 1984 ± 85 1985 ± 86
No. of storms (Moving sand) 15 14 14 19 18 17 13
Hazedays 86 82 81 78 80 85 89
Mean Minimum 13.8 17.9 16.3 18.5 18.6 18.5 18.6
Mean Maximum 30.5 30.5 31.4 30.6 31.3 30.5 30.6
Table 2 Wind deflation during Harmattan
Average wind Speed km/ Hr. 6.15 7.17 6.10 7.84 11.60 6.21 12.15 11.10 16.10 Gusts Km/ hr 36 36 36 52 52 52 52 67 67 Duration Hours 24 03 02 68.3 04 72 03 05 02 Amount collected (grams) Open Fallow 0.3 Neg 0.2 0.07 0.3 0.2 29.4 0.40 8.9 1.50 21.32 0.45 19.60 3.21 26.70 7.45 31.30 9.40
Forest area Neg Neg Neg 0.10 Neg 0.008 0.45 1.13 1.10
Neg = negligible
Table 3 Bush fire damage - Nigerian Television Authority (Maiduguri) and Local Government Authorities No. Damage estimated reported in by the above News sources in Naira Media 18 22 36 31 21 210,000 305,000 418,000 360,000 517,000
1981 ± 82 1982 ± 83 1983 ± 84 1984 ± 85 1985 - 86
Table 4 Flight delays and cancellations at Maiduguri No. of days with delays 25 28 26 No. of days the flights were cancelled 12 16 14
Season 1983 ± 84 1984 ± 85 1985 - 86
Table 5 Percentage suffering from a sample of 816 Discomfort, illness or disease Cracked lips Cracked skin Nose bleeding C.S.M. Bronchitis Asthma Harmattan season 73 64 38 100 60 51 Other times of the year 16 31 21 14 38 32
Table 6 Areas and No. (estimated) in market gardening.
Area 1. Yobe flood plain 2. Alo lake 3. Jere Swamp 4. Gongola valley 5. Yedezeram flood plain
No. of farmers 1600 300 250 900 1250
Table 7 Correlation matrix for no. of days of Harmattan storms, no. of days with haze, mean minimum temperature, mean maximum temperature, mean annual Rainfall between 1979 ± 80, and 1985 ± 86.
No.of days of harmattan storms 1 -0.65 0.6 0.1 -0.33 No.of days with haze -0.65 1 -0.5 -0.45 0.86 Mean minimum temperature Mean maximum temperature Mean annual Rainfall
0.6 -0.5 1 0.1 -0.2
0.1 -0.45 0.1 1 -0.3
-0.33 0.86 -0.2 -0.3 1
Today Dust storms are monitored and predicted using satellite photos, as their impact is felt in far away places from their origin and as these storms can seriously affect air navigation. As there is serious conflict is raging between Moslems and USA in the Middle east, the use of arms, air craft and helicopters in war is increasing. This has led to an increase in the study of dust storms, because many time US forces with the most modern technology has been defeated by the occurrence of dust storm.
Biological evolution Biological evolution is also an ever evolving geological entity, but with the technological mastery achieved by society in the last 50 years the natural evolution of the biosphere is seriously threatened and subjected to destruction. Humans now have the capacity to destroy thousands of years of biological evolution, in minutes or hours. However currently, environmental groups and some governments are concerned with the extinction of species due to human intervention, and are attempting to combat further extinctions. Humans can cause extinction of a species through overharvesting, pollution, destruction of habitat, introduction of new predators and food competitors, and other influences. According to the World Conservation Union (WCU, also known as IUCN), about 784 extinctions have been recorded since the year 1500, the arbitrary date selected to define "modern" extinctions, with many more likely to have gone unnoticed. Most of these modern extinctions can be attributed directly or indirectly to human effects. Endangered species are species that are in danger of becoming extinct, which can be saved from quick action. (http://en.wikipedia.org) Use of biotic resources is essential for modern development. The methods used by society are not yet totally environment friendly and cause serious damage to biotic environment. The developed world has shifted agricultural production to marginal areas outside their domains and rapidly repairing damage done to their environments in the mechanisation of agriculture. The developing world, which has no proper planning on use of biotic resources suffer mainly from corruption and gluttony, and rapidly loosing their valuable forests, wetlands and grass lands, without reducing poverty. The damage to forests and wetlands has reached a critical stage by year 2000 in Sri Lanka primarily due to corruption and non-adherence to scientific advice. The capacity to use organic fertiliser is withheld due to corruption involved in chemical fertiliser importation. The use of forest harvesting, introduction of environment and water conservation friendly plants are also not adhered to as a result of dependence on foreign planned programmes in place of use of participatory systems and local expertise. Sri Lanka is expected to loose much of its biodiversity in the next 20 to 30 years.
Man Induced Man Induced environment hazards originate from the interaction between society and environment. In here the society attempts to utilise environment for its betterment and when the behaviour of the environment is not properly understood, a crisis and a hazards situation is formed. Cultivation Cultivation or farming is the process of use of land for the production of food or industrial raw materials by planting variety of plants. Soil erosion loss of fertility and finally land degradation will result from careless cultivation. In addition accumulation of salts, chemical compounds from chemical fertiliser is expected at sites of over fertilisation. It is estimated that about 60 to 70 percent of the arable land area of the earth is faced with some form of land degradation by year 2000. Unscientific cultivation affects forest and grassland destruction. Today the world¶s forests and grasslands are destroyed at an accelerated rate. Though many attempts are made to prevent this activity, all over the developing world the destruction continues. The developed world has severely altered their landscapes and has highly reduced biodiversity. Many international protocols and agreements have been signed in the last 10 years than in any other previous period, but the slow and steady destruction of habitats are continuing. This is because the sustainability is not taken serious by either the developed or developing countries of the world. Wearing away and redistribution of the Earth's soil layer. It is caused by the action of water, wind, and ice, and also by improper methods of agriculture. If unchecked, soil erosion result in desertification or desertisation. . It has been estimated that 25% of the world's cultivated topsoil was lost between 1950 and 2000. If the rate of erosion exceeds the rate of soil formation (from rock and decomposing organic matter), then the land will become infertile. The removal of forests or other vegetation often leads to serious soil erosion, because plant roots bind soil, and without them the soil is free to wash or blow away, as in the American dry areas and in Sri lanka during the dry season. Improved agricultural practices such as contour
ploughing are needed to combat soil erosion. Windbreaks, such as hedges or strips planted with coarse grass, are valuable, and organic farming can reduce soil erosion by as much as 75%. Soil degradation and erosion are becoming as serious as the loss of the rainforest. It is estimated that more than 10% of the world's soil lost a large amount of its natural fertility during the latter half of the 20th century. Some of the worst losses are in Europe, where 17% of the soil is damaged by human activity such as mechanized farming and fallout from acid rain. In Mexico and Central America, 24% of soil is highly degraded, mostly as a result of deforestation ((http://www.tiscali.co.uk) It is estimated that about 60 to 70 percent of the agricultural land in Sri Lanka is affected by soil erosion and annual loss to the agricultural production through soil erosion is in the millions of rupees. Further cultivation of steep slope has increased the risk of landslides and mudflows in many parts of the country. Effect of landslides and mudflows is discussed under construction, because they become life threatening in relation to construction. Therefore every country, area and locality should select the type of cultivation methodology best suited to them with the help of available technology to prevent the construction of hazardous scenario. Construction Settlements, roads and other communication lines are the major man made structure affected or destroyed by environmental hazards. It is estimated that about 20 to 30 billion US dollars worth of settlement associated constructions are damaged by environmental hazards annually. There is no possibility of prevention of damage to property, but the damage can be minimised by adhering to scientific data and construction, which is available now through the invention of computer technology. Two major types of hazards are present in the area of construction. They are 1. on site 2. in use.
On site hazards vary from physical to biological to chemical depending on the type of materials used in construction. The control of this type is the responsibility of the site manager or production manager is it is a process of manufacturing a product. The safety regulations and standards have to be applied in this process to guarantee the safety of the site and the product. The most important construction in the environment is our settlement, where we live most parts of our lives. Settlement is composed of domestic, institutional and commercial buildings and they are arranged in units of village, town and city. These units require a system of services to be nonhazardous to the occupants. The natural hazards occurring in the area determines the type and strength requirements of buildings, location of trees, open area and industrial areas. The recreational areas should not be located in the areas close to high-rise buildings or buildings capable of producing fires. The following tabulated formats (Tables 2/4/1 to 2/4/4) will give information on building requirements, hazard present and location of trees and hazard present and location of open area/ parks/ children play ground/ play ground and, hazard present and industrial areas. Technological hazards Technological hazards originate from the insufficient knowledge on materials and processes we produce with the aid of technology. Chemicals and nuclear action are the major elements in the formation of technological hazards. The primary chemical hazards are related to use of lead and CFC gases which destroys atmosphere through destruction of Ozone layer. Chemical factory explosions, leakage of chemicals into soil and water and inhaling of chemicals produce the direct environmental hazards. The chemicals mixing with clouds and producing acid rain is also considered as a serious hazard today. Acid rain is responsible for the destruction of forests and historical buildings in the industrialised countries and affecting biodiversity of the tropical forests. Explosions and leakages of nuclear radiation occur when reactors blow-out or shut-down prior to explosion. This type of incidents are rare but can destroy large areas. Traffic related production of carbon monoxide gases are considered to be the most damaging environmental and health hazard today leading to an increase in respiratory diseases and some types of cancers.
Table 2/4/1, Hazards present and Building requirement
Hazard present Earthquake Landslides Cyclone, Tornado, Thunderstrom or other types with high winds Flood Flash flood Drought Heavy rain/snow/blizzard Building requirement Earthquake resistant buildings Do not build on land prone to sliding Strong roofing and main sidewall. Provide rapid drainage.
Avoid building on areas liable to serious flooding. In areas of minor flooding buildings with strong foundations and main walls are to be built. Provide rapid drainage. Avoid building on path of flash flood. Flash flood can be controlled by proper drainage. Design the building and the garden to collect as much water as possible using constructed systems Build with the expectation of overloading from snow, sand, dust on walls, roof, windows and doors.
Table 2/4/2, Hazard present and Location of trees
Hazard present Earthquake Landslides Cyclone, Tornado, Thunderstrom or other types with high winds Flood Flash flood Drought Heavy rain/snow/blizzard Location of trees At a distance which will not fall on the construction Not applicable At a distance which will not fall on the construction Allowance should be given to rapid drainage Allowance should be given to rapid drainage Selective tree growth to control unnecessary loss of soil water At a distance which will not fall on the construction
Table 2/4/3 Hazard present and location of open area/ parks/ children play ground/ play ground
Hazard present Earthquake Landslides Cyclone, Tornado, Thunderstrom or other types with high winds Flood Flash flood Drought Heavy rain/snow/blizzard Open area/ parks/ children play ground/ play ground Free from falling buildings and trees/ away from possible fires Free from falling buildings and trees/ away from possible fires Free from falling buildings and trees/ away from possible fires Do not construct children¶s playground Do not construct children¶s playground Not applicable Not applicable
Table 2/4/4 -Hazard present and industrial areas
Hazard present Earthquake Landslides Cyclone, Tornado, Thunderstorm or other types with high winds Flood Flash flood Drought Industrial areas Construct with all the safety standards Do not construct Construct with special attention to effect of fire Do not construct any factories of chemical products Do not construct any factories of chemical products Do not construct which require large quantity of water
Do not construct which require heating
Man Made Man Made type of environmental hazards is the categories of hazards, which are constructed by the behavioural characteristics of human nature. These constructions include all types of social corruption (including political and administrative corruption), gluttony (political, administrative and social) madness arising from corrupt behaviour and hidden mental sicknesses (like inferiority complex, superiority complex, sadism) which has a great capacity in formation, accelerating and slow response to hazards through blockage of proper procedures of economic and social development. Corruption Corruption is the unethical act performed in the service of the society. It entails the activities of personal nature to community nature where resources, space and time of the nation are improperly used for personal gains only. Types of corruption include: political, official and personal. Corruption prevents proper social development through improper settlement planning, urban area planning and road and communication network planning. Further corruption prevents the proper management of these facilities through lack of law and order in the process. The developed world has devised a way through the application of rule of law to minimise corruption and their societal development is at an acceptable level of order where the hazards are partially controlled or some times greatly controlled. However the developing world is still struggling to achieve an acceptable status in hazard control. The documents given below highlight the effect of corruption in Sri Lanka. CSP 7 The ADB/Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Anti-Corruption Initiative for AsiaPacific welcomed as 26th member, Sri Lanka. The Action Plan calls on members to develop effective and transparent systems for public service, strengthen anti-bribery actions and promote integrity in business operations, and support active civil society and private sector involvement. Launched in 1999 under the joint leadership of ADB and OECD, the Initiative draws on a unique partnership among 108
all social partners of Asian and Pacific countries. The Initiative seeks to assist countries from the region in developing and promoting comprehensive anti-corruption policies at national and regional levels and provides capacity building in this area. Since the Action Plan's adoption in Tokyo in 2001, this intergovernmental process has been joined by 27 countries and jurisdictions committed to cooperate and build capacity in the fight against corruption. They include: Australia; Bangladesh; Cambodia; People's Republic of China; Cook Islands; Fiji Islands; Hong Kong, China; India; Indonesia; Japan; Kazakhstan; Republic of Korea; Kyrgyz Republic; Macao, China; Malaysia; Mongolia; Nepal; Pakistan; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Samoa; Singapore; Sri Lanka; Thailand; Vanuatu; and Viet Nam (http://www.adb.org). CSP 8 A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) indicates that The Auditor General¶s report on tsunami mismanagement should not be ignored reference to irregular distribution of funds; in one divisional secretariat where 599 families had been recorded as being affected by the tsunami, 15,843 families received assistance. Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is looking into the allegation of massive fraud at the Inland Revenue Department, where Rs. 3,570,000 (US $ 35,700 ) was reported to be misappropriated. While the Auditor General¶s department has documented this incident as well, its report has not yet been made public. The AHRC recently requested that all concerned citizens to take up the Auditor General¶s reports on the mismanagement of tsunami funds as well as the Inland Revenue Department fraud, and begin to address the corruption prevailing throughout government agencies and elsewhere (http://www.ahrchk.net). CSP 9 http://www.dailynews.lk/02-06-2006, reported a one of the most common occurrences in Sri Lanka where a public servant is charged with corruption. The charge related to road repair and it is well known that most of the roads in Sri Lanka are in damaged condition, because the Provincial and
Pradeshiya Sabha (local council) members utilise the money allocated to road maintenance for their private uses by making substandard repairs. Though the person was charged outcome was not reported by the paper thereafter. CSP 10 Tendering procedure of the Sri Lanka government is known to be corrupt according to the report at,www.ustr.gov/assets.
Gluttony Gluttony can be political, social, security force related, judicial and administrative, but the ethical application of power indicates that power is to serve but not to hinder service or development. The society is always corrupt without the application of rule of law. Rule of law further states that lack of application of it makes the society a poor and a disorderly place. This is a global problem, but in Sri Lanka it has reached the status where economic development is retarded. This is mainly due to lack of proper taxation and declaration of assets by the senior members of the public and private sector employees including politicians.
CSP 11 Www.spur.asn.au, discusses the forces, which infiltrate countries like Sri Lanka and corrupt the public and private sector systems. According to the article Multi-National Companies sponsor the political leaders into power. Spy Services and Foreign policymakers of World Superpowers also contribute to corruption. These organizations hire people by offering cash, advice, lucrative business opportunities or migration opportunities to the west. Some state officials, artists and media personnel, some socialites, some big businessmen and some politicians are in the trap according to the article. These characteristics have been identified by more than 600,000 Internet sites and about 150 internationally recognized publications and evidence of corruption are noted by a minimum of about 3 media reports daily in Sri Lanka.
Madness Madness is a personal type of environment hazard. It is confirmed by sociological research that some individuals develop anti-social behaviour in life. These types of behaviour includes physical molestation of the weak, exercising undue pressure on the subjects under command, receiving pleasure from bullying and hurting others and even kill for satisfaction. Traffic accidents are a socially originating environmental hazard in the developing world in general and specially in Sri Lanka. Investigations in to causes of traffic accidents reveal that impatience and influence of alcohol or hard drugs are responsible for most of the serious and fatal accidents. Media reports and public records in Sri Lanka indicate that drivers under the influence of alcohol or hard drugs cause about 56 percent of the fatal accidents. Another 30 percent of the drivers were under stress from lack of sleep or continuous driving. In total about 76 percent of the fatal accidents occurred in the process of overtaking in a hurry. Therefore the state of mind is an integral part of driving and developed countries impose heavy legal control on this activity and their ratio of accidents to number of trips made are very low compared to any developing country.
Sadism Pure effect of sadism creates or establishes an inefficient group of people, which affects the growth of free ideas and development. The brain drain from developing countries is a result of high corruption and sadism in the administrative and political environment. Use of hearsay instead of properly calculated efficiency, favouritism and affiliations in the evaluation for promoting administrators and selecting political leaders has resulted in political and administrative chaos in all most all the developing countries. Conflict, Riot and War These are the most dangerous types of hazards in the modern world as between 1900 and 2000 about 200 million people have died from these three activities making them the most disastrous hazards in the world.
These incidents have arisen due to various reasons like divisive politics, disinformation, struggle between super powers, corruption, gluttony, concept of ethnic superiority, religious fanatics, terrorism, which were constructed by man and therefore classified in this book as man made. These activities have been associated with societies from the beginning of man and expected to continue in to future. However the intensity and level of damage have increased with the rising population and establishment of nation states. Historical records show that the major system of control in the past was military action against the terrorist forces. The major world powers of the present world also use military power to control terrorism. In case of poor developing nations terrorism has become a serious hazard making them poorer and brings suffering to the poorest people. The majority killed due to terrorism are the poor, who are employed as soldiers, victims of bomb attacks on civilian targets and lack of medical care due to non-availability of funding for health. About 92 percent of the people and soldiers killed in the ethnic war between 1983 and 2005 in Sri Lanka were in the low-income group.
Poverty Poverty is created in the modern world due to uneven distribution of resources and lack of social security to low income earners. Poverty cannot be totally eradicated but poverty can be controlled that, it will not affect the economic stability and progress of a nation is not affected and there will only be a limited impact on environmental hazards. Poverty increases the effect of environmental hazards mainly through the immediate living environment of the poor. Poor cannot afford to live in a healthy environment due to lack of control of land distribution and non-provision of healthy living environment. In the socio-political culture of the developing world poor or poverty is related to trivial beliefs of fate, karma, anti-social behaviour etc and they are treated as a group of people, which should depend on the political and administrative power to live. Thousands of media reports examined on environmental hazards all over the world show that about 80 percent of the seriously affected in the developing world belong to the category of poor. In addition surveys on health indicate that more than 80 percent of the poor die from illnesses and diseases, which can be cured with available medicine or medical procedures. The most recent research indicates that poverty is a result of lack of freedom (Sen, 1999) to work and claim the rights of citizenry (Sen, 1987), in the developing world. Poor is always utilised by the socio-political authority with extreme thoughts on nationalism, religious beliefs and ethnicity. This conspiracy leads to division and anti-social behaviour in poor, which in turn leads to marginalisation of them. Poverty results in the increase of effect of many natural hazards and detailed documentation on the relationship between poverty and health (Seneviratne, 2002b and 2003b), poverty and climatic change (Seneviratne, 2005d) poverty and floods and landslides (2003a), poverty and sandstorms (1988), poverty and resources (1975, 2002c and 2002e) are presented in this book.
Health Hazards All types of environmental hazards have the tendency to form the condition of ill health. Either, individuals or groups of individuals and some times a whole nation can be exposed to ill health due to change or destruction of the
environmental balance. Environmental balance is destroyed by either environmental change or change of environment. Environmental change is the change of environment caused by society over a period of time through the introduction of cropping systems, construction of settlement systems and establishment of industries. These activities change the face of the environment and nature of the physical and chemical processes in operation in the environment Tables 2/5/1 to 2/5/3)
Table 2/5/1 Pre history to end of Polonnaruwa.
Time period Pre History Health environment Endemic malaria in all the low lands of Sri Lanka. Living environment of the majority of the people was poor. High organic decay and wetness resulted in high rates of helminthisis. High death rate/low survivability of children/low population. Population about 30 to 40000 Endemic malaria in all the low lands of Sri Lanka. Living environment of the majority of the people was healthy. High organic decay and wetness resulted in high rates of helminthisis. Moderate death rate/moderate survivability of children/moderate population status was achieved with the establishment of a strong herbal medicine. Population about 5 to 8 million Disastrous hazards recorded Majority of the deaths were from disease, droughts, floods, cyclones and wild animal attacks
Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa periods
Majority of the deaths were from disease, droughts, war, floods, cyclones and wild animal attacks
Table 2/5/2 end of Polonnaruwa period to establishment of the Kandyan Kingdom
Time period Intermediate period between end of Polonnaruwa to establishment of Kotte Health environment Endemic malaria Endemic malaria in all the low lands of Sri Lanka. Living environment of the majority of the people was poor. High organic decay and wetness resulted in high rates of helminthisis. Very high death rate due to change of environment from dry to wet zone and loss of treatment system due to destruction of civilisation. Very high death rate/very low survivability of children/low population. Population reduced to about 0.5 million and stagnated due to high death rates. Endemic malaria Endemic malaria in all the low lands of Sri Lanka. Living environment of the majority of the people was poor. High organic decay and wetness resulted in high rates of helminthisis. High death rates continued due to living in wet environment to which the population had no immunity and loss of treatment system due to destruction of civilisation. However the coming of Portuguese and Dutch brought some stability of government and internal wars have reduced. High death rate/ low survivability of children/low population. Population rose to about 3 million by the establishment of Kandyan Kingdom. There is evidence to suggest that this period witnessed a rise annual rainfall and increase of floods. Disastrous hazards recorded Majority of the deaths were from disease (malaria and diarrhoea). war and floods. Majority of the deaths were from disease (malaria and diarrhoea) war and floods.
End of Kotte to establishment of Kandyan Kingdom
Table 2/5/3 end of Kandyan kingdom to 2005
Time period End of Kandyan kingdom to Independence Health environment Endemic malaria Endemic malaria in all the low lands of Sri Lanka. Living environment of the majority of the people was poor. High organic decay and wetness resulted in high rates of helminthisis. High death rates continued due to change of environment from dry to wet zone and loss of treatment system due to destruction of civilisation. However the resistance to British saw a rise in the death from war in the early part of British rule. High death rate and low survivability of children continued until 1940s till the introduction of antibiotics and antimalaria drugs. Population began to rise from about 1940. Malaria, helminthisis and diarrhoea under control and population began to rise. Living environment of the majority of the people was poor. Introduction of anti-biotics and vaccination lowered the prevalence of childhood diseases. Population was growing at a rate of about 3.0 percent per year. The infectious disease of the 60s continue to be present but at a very low frequency. Living environment of the majority of the people became better, but the poor institutional organisation has turned cities and towns in to smelly and dirty places with high risk for dengue, cholera, jaundice and diarrhoea. Death from traumatic injuries (war, traffic accidents, suicides) has become the primary cause of death. Since 1995 the chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease has risen sharply. Population growth has slowed down to about 1.3 percent per year. Disastrous hazards recorded Majority of the deaths were from disease (malaria and diarrhoea) and floods.
Independence to 1960s
End of 1960s to 2005
Disease, traumatic injuries. drought, floods, cyclones and landslides. Disease, traumatic injuries. Disease, drought, floods, cyclones and landslides.
Change of environment and health is most visible in migrant populations of the world. In Sri Lanka the migrants to farmer resettlement schemes and migrant workers in and around major towns and the capital city face many health hazards when they migrate to their new destination ( CPA 5, Page 55).
Effect of environmental hazards on development Table 2/6 shows the effect of various types of environmental hazards on development of eleven selected nations. The impact levels were calculated from data on preparedness, facing the hazard and recovery capability. Countries like Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Indonesia is affected more seriously than the other nations in the table, because of their weak scientific preparedness and corruption in the socio-political system. The best systems are in countries like Switzerland and Israel where there is very high level of environmental management on use of environment and socio-political corruption is very low.
Table 2/6 Effect of environmental hazards on development ± a comparative evaluation
Country Sri Lanka Nigeria Indonesia Switzerland India China Malaysia Singapore USA UK Israel Geological High High High Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate High Moderate High Man Induced Very high Very high Very high Low Moderate Moderate Low Low Low Low Low Man Made Disastrous Disastrous Disastrous Very Low Moderate Low Low Very Low Very low Very Low Low Effect on economy Very High Very High Very High Very low Moderate Moderate Low Low Very low Very low Very low
References (Chapter 2/ general text/ most of the references in the articles are given at the end of the article) 1. Baker, O. (1999) Science News, 156, 20, Science Service 2. Discovery (2005) Unstoppable Wave. 3. Jayasundara, J.M.S.B. (2004), Seasonality and periodicity of trends in rainfall and temperature in Sri Lanka, Sabaragamuwa University Journal, Vol.4, No.1, P 53-62. 4. Premathilake, T.R. (2004) Conference call, firstname.lastname@example.org 5. Peet, R . (1999) Theories of development, Guilford Press, London. 6. Sack, R.D. (1997) Homo Geographicus: A framework for action, awareness and moral concern, John Hopkings university Press, Baltimore. 7. Sen, A (1982) Poverty and Famine, Am essay on entitlement and depravation, Oxford University Press. 8. Sen, A (1987) The Standard of Living, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 9. Sen, A (1999) Development as Freedom, Alfred A Knopf, New York. 10. Seneviratne, H.M.M.B. (1968) A review on the identification of the major landform units of Sri Lanka, Polawatalaya, The Annual Magazine of the Geographical Society of University of Colombo, (in Sinhala). 11. Seneviratne, H.M.M.B. (1973) Three Approaches to Landform Studies, Unpublished M.Phil. Thesis, (Supervisor: Dr. J.C. Doornkamp), Department of Geography, University of Nottingham, UK. 12. Seneviratne, H.M.M.B. (1974) Soil erosion and Land Development, Ceylon Daily News, 1974, December 15. 13. Seneviratne, H.M.M.B. (1975) The New Village, Ceylon Daily News, 1975, January 10. 14. Seneviratne, H.M.M.B. (1977) Soil Erosion and Conservation Survey of Atabage and Mul-Oya, Department of Geography/Ministry of Planning and Plan Implementation/ UNDP, Report submitted through the University Colombo to, Ministry of Plan Implementation, Colombo. 15. Seneviratne, H.M.M.B. (1977) An Introduction to Geomorphology, in Sinhala, Rathna Poth Prakashakayo, Colombo. 16. Seneviratne, H.M.M.B. (1986) Environmental Change and the Management of Land Resources of Northern
Borno, Proceedings of the 29th Annual Conference of the Nigerian Geographical Association, Book of Abstracts, 408 ± 414. 17. Seneviratne, H.M.M. B (1988) Harmattan a hazard or a blessing: nature and occurrence of a dust laden northeasterlies in Borno State, Nigeria. Staff Seminar papers, Borno College of Education, Maiduguri, Nigeria. 18. Seneviratne, H.M.M. B.(1991) Micro- relief forms and man: A case study of Maiduguri and its Environs, Borno State, Nigeria, Nigerian Geographical Association, Book of Abstracts, 16-17. 19. Seneviratne, H.M.M.B. (1991) The micro - erosion process in a changing climatic environment, A case study of Northern Borno, in Arid Zone Hydrology and Water Resources, (ed) Gadzama, N.M., Ibadan University Press, P 451-460. 20. Seneviratne, H.M.M.B. (1993) The Geomorphology of Borno Plains, Outreach, Vol. 1 No. 1, P 1-16. 21. Seneviratne, H.M.M.B. (1994) Short-term predictability of mean annual rainfall at Maiduguri, Nigeria, Proceedings of the 37th Annual Conference of the Nigerian Geographical Association, 1994, Book of Abstracts, P 111-114. 22. Seneviratne, H.M.M.B. (1998) Was it an earthquake, Dinamina, September (in Sinhala). 23. Seneviratne, H.M.M.B. (2001) The Mahaweli Village: Changing perspectives: Space, Place and Identity, Geografisk Institute, University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway, P 84 ± 96.24 24. Seneviratne, H.M.M.B. (2002 a) Paths of Thunderstorms, Daily News. 25. Seneviratne, H.M.M.B. (2002 b) Poverty and Health, A Case study of Mahaweli System, C, Conference on Poverty and Development, IMCAP, March, Colombo. 26. Seneviratne, H.M.M.B, (2002 c), Housing for Future: Environmental Issues related to construction sector projects, Workshop on Development Strategies and Related Environmental Issues, Ministry of Housing and Plantation Infrastructure, CETRAC Auditorium, Pelwatta, 26th September, 2002. 27. Seneviratne, H.M.M.B, (2002 e) Control of Sedimentation of Waterways through a Household Based Programme, Relating the Environment to Regional Development, USJ-SIDA/SAREC Research Cooperation Project and Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources
Joint International Conference, 16th to 18th September, Book of Abstracts, P 27-28. Colombo. 28. Seneviratne, H.M.M.B. (2002 f) Thunderstorms, changing climate and water supply, Daily news, 2002, May 17. 29. Seneviratne, H.M.M.B. and Karunaratne, H.K.N. (2003 a) Floods and slides, Daily News, June 21, 2003. www.dailynews.lk/2003/06/21/featureslead.html. 30. Seneviratne, H.M.M.B. (2003 b) Settlers of Mahaweli system C and their sibling families at home villages, Ph. D. Thesis, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway, ISBN 82-471-5222-3. 31. Seneviratne, H.M.M.B. (2003 c) Ministerial Panel on the status of rehabilitation and participatory activities in Mahaweli Areas, Ministry of irrigation and Mahaweli Development, Colombo. 32. Seneviratne, H.M.M.B. (2004) Man and Physical Environment, Open University Work Book, Open University, Colombo. 33. Seneviratne, H.M.M.B. and Jayantha, T.D.K (2005 a) µOba Suudanamda¶ (in Sinhala National Service, Commercial Service and City FM)± Srilanka Broadcasting Corporation. 34. Seneviratne, H.M.M.B. and Jayantha, T.D.K (2005 b) Three to Five, (in Sinhala discussion on µFacing Hazard¶. Rupavahini (television) Corporation of Sri Lanka. 35. Seneviratne, H.M.M.B (2005 c) Climatic Change and development, in Sinhala, PED Foundation, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. ISBN 955- 98808 ± 0 ± 2. 36. Seneviratne, H.M.M.B. (2005 d) Climatic Change and Development: the effect of Climatic change on development in Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Journal of Population Studies, Vol.8, p 15-30. 37. Siddhisena, K.A.P. and Seneviratne, H.M.M.B., 2002 g, A household based programme on erosion and sedimentation control, Regional Planning Conference, SIDA/SAREC, Colombo 38. Siddhisena, K.A.P. and Seneviratne, H.M.M.B., 2002 h, Strengthening health systems in Sri Lanka, JICA health studies, Ministry of Health, Colombo. 39. Suppiah, R.,1997, Extremes of the southern oscillations phenomenon and the rainfall of Sri Lanka, International Journal of Climatology, 17, 87-101. 40. United Nations. (1999) The Global Environmental Outlook, New York. 37. Whetton, P.,1994, Constructing climatic scenarios: the practice in Climatic Impact
Assessment Methods for Asia and the Pacific, (Jackman, A.J, and A.B. Pittock (eds), Proceedings of Regional Symposium, organised by ANUTECH Pty. Ltd. On behalf of Australian International Development Assistance Bureau, 10 to 12 th March, 1992, Canberra, Australia, 21-27. 41. Wijeratne, M.A., 1996, Vulnerability of Sri Lanka tea production to global climatic change, In Climatic Change Variability and Adaptation in Asia and the Pacific, ( Erda, L, W. Bolhofer, S. Huq, S. Lenhart, S.K. Mukherjee, J.B. Smith and J. Wiesnewski (eds), Kluwer Academic Publisher, Dordrecht, Netherlands, 248p. www.theweatherprediction.com/habyhints/150/ www. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tornado).´ www.crh.noaa.gov/lmk/glossary.htm wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn www.dailynews.lk/2003/06/21/featureslead.html www.dailynews.lk/2004/05/07/featureslead.html www.dailynews.lk/2002/05/27/fea04.htmlwww.spur.asn.au (http://www.tiscali.co.uk/reference/encyclopaedia/hutchinson /m0024281.html http://www.sciencenews.org/pages/sn_arc99/11_13_99/fob5. htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extinction http://www.sciencenews.org/pages/sn_arc99/11_13_99/fob5. htm http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/A1.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Katrina http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blizzard http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/NWSTornado/ http://www.adb.org/Media/Articles/2006/9874-regionalanticorruption/default.asp www.ustr.gov/assets/Document_Library/Reports_Publication s/2004/2004. http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/Glossary/PlateTectonics/descriptio n_plate_tectonics.html http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/dynamic/understanding.html http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/A1.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Katrina http://www.totse.com/en/technology/space_astronomy_nasa/t ungusk2.html http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2004/12/05/new22.html http://www.poleshift.org/Polar__Wandering.html http://www. hesperia.gsfc.nasa.gov/sftheory/flare.htm
http://interactive2.usgs.gov/faq/list_faq_by_category/get_ans wer.asp?id=490 http://22.214.171.124/search?q=cache:kuhmDzbLow0J:www. ustr.gov/assets/Document_Library/Reports_Publications/200 4/2004_National_Trade_Estimate/2004_NTE_Report/asset_ upload_file10_4797.pdf+corruption+sri+lanka&hl=en&gl=lk &ct=clnk&cd=6&ie=UTF-8 http://www.dailynews.lk/02-06-2006 http://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2005stateme nts/354/
Note for readers: The Department of Social Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka collects data on hazards in the dry zone of Sri Lanka on a regular basis and publishes the data sheet ³ENINFO´. Detailed information is available from Dr. H.M.M.B. Seneviratne of the Department of Social Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka.
Chapter 3 Nature, Society and hazards This chapter investigates the relationship between nature, society and hazards in relation to the struggle for existence of societies on the surface of the earth. The major conflict between nature, hazard and societies originate, in the attempt to utilise nature for existence and construct various types of utilities at the surface of the earth. These constructions are not natural and nature has no regard for them. Nature is always more powerful than constructions of man and man himself. Man is also a product of nature and nature attempts always to remind man that man cannot progress beyond a certain point without a proper understanding of the materials and processes of nature on a scientific basis. Nature The following explanations on nature are applicable to developing nations where the nature of nature, is not well understood. Generally corruption is regarded as more important than utilisation of scientific way in these societies. In this confused situation, these corrupt societies forget to learn that, Nature has limit less power, It works on its own schedules, Nature is more powerful than society, and Nature treats society on its own terms and society cannot change terms. Society Society has another notion, that it can control nature, but society can control nature only within the terms given by nature (Plates 2 and 4). Scientific method is the only way to learn, understand and possibly control nature and scientific understanding allows society to find the limits of society and true power of nature. Only when this relationship is fully understood, the society can find a way to live in harmony with nature. If we do not live in harmony with nature the destruction will always be present. However, there are certain acts of nature, like volcanic eruption, earthquake and tsunami, which are extremely difficult to understand study and predict, but scientific way can reduce fatalities to a minimum.
The socio-political organisation of the society is paramount to understanding, preparation and recovery from hazards. If scientific method is not followed in these three areas that society is faced with continuing problem of presence of hazards. For example, landslide and floods have become major natural hazards primarily due to lack of understanding of place and time of occurrence of these events. In here lack of proper national settlement planning has led to individual decision making on settlement establishment and these individual decision making results in the constant exposure to flood and landslide. Corruption is present in all types of human activities in Sri Lanka and it delays in the understanding, preparation and recovery from hazards resulting in heavy financial losses. The best example is that all the governments elected to office since 1965 had no proper plans for the development of energy sector and buying agricultural products for storage. These two have contributed to more than 50 percent in the rise of cost of living in Sri Lanka as toady we have to buy energy at a high cost from the private producer and the paddy and vegetable harvests are not supportive of cost of food. Sri Lanka has not only missed its opportunities for development in the past 40 years the country has become a more hazardous place to live (Table 3/1).
Table 3/1 Estimated annual damage from a selected group of societal environmental hazards*
Occurrence Number year Deaths year Property damage or loss to society (in rupees) 200 to 300 billion rupees
All the time
Traffic accidents Sadism/ Inefficiency Drought ( drought, suicide from crop loss, loss of livelihoods) Flood ( flood, thunderstorm, lightning, tornado and flash flood)
7000 All the time 31
100 to 200 (not providing required services, because of corruption, people die unnecessarily) 4000 10 to 15 12
200 to 300 billion 150 to 200 billion rupees 5 to 6 billion
4 to 5
3 to 4 billion
* Data collected from media reports (on public sector corruption, private sector bankruptcy reports, investigations by police, suspected killing or maiming of honest workers). Deaths from corruption occur for example when an answer to a letter is not received from a public authority someone should travel to the office. On their way they can die from a traffic accident. These incidents were recorded during life history surveys.
Planet control our destinies 126
³A lot of people died in Sumatra, Thailand, India and Sri Lanka, because they did not know warning signs, although we cannot bring them back, if we help the public understand natural rhythms, we will help them survive and help them live in harmony with the planet. We got to live in harmony with the planet and Tsunami is a classic example of a clash between a planet and humanity, and humanity lost. We think we run our lives and we control our destinies. Planet controls our destinies.´ (2005 February, Unstoppable Wave, Discovery Channel) Professor Jamie Austin Geophysicist NOAA USA Floods and Slides ³We in Sri Lanka have to suffer heavy economic damage amounting to about 30 billion rupees to bring back the areas to operational level and according to popular news, it may take about one third of our budgetary allocations this year to fully rehabilitate the damage over a period of five years. Will we be able to sustain this programme in case of continuing natural disasters? The answer is no. We have to follow the scientific evidences and be ready for the future. All the developed countries have mega plans to face the impending natural disasters. They have food, medical supplies and service stocks in hand with disaster prediction, control and management organizations. Please begin a longterm restructuring of environment in the hazardous zones. (Seneviratne, H.M.M.B. and Karunartne, H.K.N; Saturday 21st June 2003, Daily News)
Nature gives signs and symbols Nature is alive and gives signs and symbols of its activities to the surrounding environment though most of these signs cannot be comprehended by the existing scientific knowledge.
These signs are given in many forms Dreams ± there is a belief that dreams indicate danger Sense ± there is a belief that telepathy and other unexplained super naturals signal danger Behaviour of other living beings ± have to be taken seriously Behaviour of underground water, rock strata and the surface is important Astrological predictions are useful Personal predictions may be valid Warnings given by elders have value Scientific prediction is very reliable. There is a continuous struggle between science and belief in the modern world in relation to environmental hazards. Our primary investigation is based on scientific concepts, but in the study of environmental hazards and facing hazards in a poor country like Sri Lanka value of the belief system cannot be forgotten. It is because the information and recovery systems associated with environmental hazards are extremely weak due to socio-political corruption and madness in the societal system. Understanding hazards and living through environmental
The procedure given here is highly generalised and specialised systems of operation has to be studied at higher levels of training. The procedure is divided in to easily understood parts and presented with minimum complexity. Stages in the understanding environmental hazards (Table 3/2) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. Identification study research monitoring prediction preparation warning arrival search and rescue reahabilitation recovery stabilisation and living through
Table 3/2 Stages of understanding and living through environmental hazards
Stage Identification Study Work schedule Nature of risk, spatial context, time line Nature of risk, spatial context, time line, people in risk, property in risk, visitors in risk Quantify Nature of risk, spatial context, time line, people in risk, property in risk, visitors in risk, organisational frame work needed, financial resources needed On time line On time line Education, organisational frame work (specially the local societal organisations) financial resources, evacuation, shelter Education, organisational frame work (specially the local societal organisations), financial resources, evacuation, shelter Education, organisational frame work (specially the local societal organisations), financial resources, evacuation, shelter Education, organisational frame work (specially the local societal organisations), financial resources, evacuation, shelter Education, organisational frame work (specially the local societal organisations), financial resources, evacuation, shelter
Monitoring Prediction Preparation
Stabilisation and rebuilding
Facing environmental hazard People at risk should be educated continuously through the use of local information network, national and regional radio and television networks. Media system in operation should have a compulsory time slot at least thrice weekly for the purpose of preparation for the hazard. At the onset of the hazard (Tables 3/3/1, 3/3/2 and 3/3/3) 1. Evacuate at the moment of warning before evacuating collect essential food items, medicine, water and clothing for hard wear
Table 3/3/1 During hazard (2 major geological environmental hazards affecting Sri Lanka) Type
Go for cover, if you are in the house go under strong furniture (table, bed) Do not wait for the last minute
When shaking stops run out to clear area Stay in ground high
Do not return until all the after shocks are over. Help the victims as much as you can. Get the community together. Beware of unknown visitors. Stay with known people. Stay in high ground until water recedes. Help the victims as much as you can. Get the community together. Beware of unknown visitors. Stay with known people together
Table 3/3/2 During hazard (2 major geological environmental hazards affecting Sri Lanka)
Cyclone and tornado
Go for cover, if you are in the house go under a strong furniture (table, bed) do not go out to see the wind Run away form the path
Go out when wind stops
Help the victims as much as you can. Get the community together. Beware of unknown visitors. Stay with known people together
Stay away from the path
Help the victims as much as you can. Get the community together. Beware of unknown visitors. Stay with known people together
Table 3/3/3 During hazard (four major societal environmental hazards affecting Sri Lanka)
Type Corruption Immediate action Try not to support Try help victims Try not to support Secondary action Organise societal action Calm the environment Organise societal action Living through Continue campaigning (but take care as the corrupt may attempt to harm you) Continue campaigning for safe driving (but take care as the corrupt may attempt to harm you) Continue campaigning for efficiency and good governance (but take care as the corrupt may attempt to harm you)
1. If there is no national, regional or local scientific warning system people have to depend on the signs given by the environment as the warning.
Stories of experiencing the hazard and pain of loss Story 1. Beragala landslide ± 1966 (Seneviratne, 1968) The area is prone to landslides and the primary reason for instability is steepness of slope, thin layer of stony soil and blockage of stream by slope rubble. The activator was heavy rainfall (103 millimetres of rainfall in 2 days) prior to the slide. Loss of life (12) was result of bank collapse and tree fall along the side of the slide path. The location of housing was not investigated in full by the authorities prior to the slide though there was high probability of sliding in the area. Story 2. Nedola side ± 1967 (Seneviratne, 1968) The area is prone to landslides and the primary cause of the landslide was indiscriminate gemming in the channel of Nedola. 6 lives were lost, but authorities responsible were not responding to the damage done to the riverbed. The stream was blocked by excessive amount of rock and vegetative debris when it was investigated in April 1967. Story 3 Naketiya landslide ± 1996 (Seneviratne, 2003a) About two months before the occurrence of Naketiya slide on Beragal-Koslanda road, the site engineers have informed the responsible authorities and the people of the area that there is some shift in the streambed. This helped to face the hazard without any fatalities. People of the area were warned of the unstable nature of the ground, but the authorities did not have a comprehensive plan to help them. People themselves were not listening to warnings and have bought land in and around the area continuously. The public authorities
have no plan for the settlement of people in these highrisk areas. Story 4 Puwakgahawela slide Seneviratne, 2003a)
One of the largest landslides to occur in Sri Lanka was activated by heavy rainfall (90 millimetres in 24 hours) and a rock fall. In and around the upper part of the slide path there were incidences of forest fires and excessive removal of forest cover about two to three years before the slide. The stream was blocked by excessive amount of rock and vegetative debris when it was investigated in July 2002 (Seneviratne, 2003a). The type of slide was identified as a mudflow on the basis of composition velocity of flow (Seneviratne, 2003a). The slide reached velocities of 20 to 30 meters per second and had a load carrying capacity of about 120 to 140 metric tons per cubic meter. An eye witness story (11 year old girl ± student) ³ I was just coming out of the stream (0.5 meters from the slide channel) after washing, I heard the sound of a low flying aeroplane (high velocity air blast), then I looked up the valley (she could see about 100 meters where the bridge was) and saw a thick mist (water produced from shear failure and atmospheric moisture vaporised by the air blast) and coming towards me. Then I ran towards the house (130 meters form the slide channel). My mother was coming out of the house dragging my sister behind her and shouted run this way pointing to the hill away from the valley. At that time the ground shook and sound of road roller (solid load of the slide) was in my ears (about 150 meters from the slide channel). When I looked back briefly I saw a huge ball of mud going down the valley. Then there was a big thud all went quiet (the resting of the large boulder about 15 meter long and 2 meters wide), and a sound of flood in the stream like when it rains heavily (the back wash coming from the blocked branch stream segments). I will never forget it, and was afraid to go to the stream for about a week. Even if I go now I always watch the upper area of the stream. (I told her not to worry as there is no possibility of another big slide like that for at least another 20 years as the debris load in the stream has been cleared).
Jayasundara, (2002) indicates that the landslide at Puwakgahawela is the type of ³Siel´ (Russian term after Arabic word ³Sail´) means heavy flow of water with rocks, mud and other material. This flow exists for a very shorter period, which appears suddenly and a wavy movement with no periodicity caused by heavy rain. Story 5 Rathnapura Floods (Seneviratne, 2003a) Most of the damage, which occurred in the present flood situation, could have been avoided, if the people who are responsible for safety of human resources of Sri Lanka watched radar weather maps and listened to predictions regularly for about four days before the arrival of the depression. Information of the WMO reveals that the depression clouds can get stagnated when they are caught between two mountain ranges and that is what exactly happened in this situation. Some strands of the depression clouds were caught in between. One of the authors was alarmed on a visit to his old village area at Ratnapura in 1998 after a lapse of about 10 years, when he witnessed that the floodable area was thickly covered with housing of all types. Most of the housing units on the flood plain belong to lower, middle and poor income groups. This was a disaster in the making as Kalu Ganga will always come back to its pre-prepared flood plain during its high flows. The frequency of this return of Kalu Ganga is fairly regular and repeats around 25, 50 and 100-year floods. For example a field visit to Ratnapura area made in the immediate aftermath of the 2003 floods revealed that blocked drains and field canals have led to formation of turbulent eddies, which led to the destruction of best built houses and killed many. The most of the homeless were low income group people who have been living in unprotected and unstable riverbank area (Seneviratne and Karunaratne, 2002b). This was a result of no proper policy on settlement location in this area and the Ratnapura Urban council nor did the Provincial Council
have a master plan for safe areas for settlement. This is a common practise in Sri Lanka where scientific advice is not sought on settlement planning and development.
Story 6 Drought in Sri Lanka (Seneviratne, 2002e and 2005c) Vast amount of literature is available on drought in Sri Lanka, but we are yet to device a plan to limit the effect of drought on the populace of Sri Lanka. In the ancient kingdom there were about half the number of present day population and about the similar number of domesticated animals. The mean annual rainfall of the period was slightly higher than today with about 100 to 150 millimetres above present day averages. However the major streams Kala Oya, Malwathu Oya, Yan Oya and Mahaweli Ganga were at higher flow level as their headwaters were completely covered in forest. If we assume that the basin storage at 100 BC as 1, it dropped to a level of 0.7 by 1000 AD and today it stands at 0.4. At 1 the basin storage was sufficient enough to supply the needs of the civilisation for about 95 percent of the time though about 3 to 4 severe longterm droughts have occurred. Today therefore there is need for inter-basin water transfer to supply the extra need as there is a population of about 6 million, 1 million domesticated animals and 600,000 vehicles, 200 industrial establishments, large armed forces presence and annually 1 to 1.5 million tourists in the region. Therefore the present water need is almost 1 when compared to the ancient civilisation levels and it cannot be supplied without additional water transfer from outside the region. There is excess water at Kalu Ganga, which can be transferred though aqueduct to supplement Mahaweli water in the northwestern and north central provinces and Nilwala water to supplement southeastern sector of Sri Lanka. . At the same time it is essential to begin well water recycling (specially by household units to communal units), well and spring rejuvenating and collection and directing standing water to the nearest tank during the rainy season. With all the above technological systems in operation we will be able to achieve 0.85 level of dependence with a minimised effect of drought in the dry zone of Sri Lanka.
Story 7 Tsunami 20041226 (Seneviratne, 2005a and 2005b) Experience show that urban and rural settled environments in Sri Lanka have changed from a safe living environment to a hazardous and dangerous living environment since modernisation began in early 1970s. This is a result of changing natural environment and loss of control of environmental change by the institutional and social structure during this period. This paper is based on an original presentation made on invitation at the Workshop on Development Strategies and Related Environmental Issues, Ministry of Housing and Plantation Infrastructure, CETRAC Auditorium, Pelwatta, 26th September, 2002. Since then the vulnerability of settlements to natural disaster was clearly shown during the disastrous floods in Kalu, Nilwala and Gin Ganga catchments in 2003 and Tsunami of 26th December 2004. The evidences for the loss of control of environmental change in the coastal areas became clear only after the tsunami. Tsunami survivor ³ in the old days the roads leading to the beach had a curve in them when they stop. Next road many people survived because it took little bit longer for water to spill over and they could wade through´ At Thalwaththa, the train was at the worst point possible at the worst moment when the earth was vibrating from one of the worst calamities of known history of the world. At the inlet of Thalwaththa two 10-metre crests of the Tsunami wave converged and collided with a force of about 100 D5 size bulldozers, creating possibly a 15meter wave crest running inland at a speed of 60 to 70 kilometres per hour. The young coconut trees, which stood between the beach and the railroad, were used by this wave as razors to cut though the train. The backwash was travelling at about 40 to 50 kilometers/per hour and there was no escape.
Investigating what happened at Galle it was the construction of the cricket grounds and the wide road to the town made a funnel through which wave could travel at high speed. A similar occurrence was recorded during hurrican Katrina in New Orleans and it led to massive damage in the ninth ward area of the city where the highest level of damage was reported. (Warning - when you plan, look at the master design of the finished product spatially, because what is beautiful on the ground may help the wind, flood water or wave to travel faster than normal) Story 8 Tornado at Galewela (Seneviratne, 2006) A prediction was made by author at 06.00 hrs in the morning of the 20th April, 2006 at Madatugama about an impending tornado in the afternoon of the 20th in and around Dam bulla ± Galewela area. Mr. Thusitha Wickramasinghe, confirmed the occurrence of a tornado at Thalakiriygama ± Averiaypathaha temple site and the surrounding area at 20.30 when he met with the field class at Millawana, Mathale.
Site Dambulla time 545 Temperature 23 Feeling Cool Cloud An anvil and a pre-tornado cloud are seen over low hills of the east. A prediction was made that a tornado will hit DambullaGalewela area in the afternoon.
Table 3.4 Damage estimate as quoted by people affected and weighted to present day prices (April 21st 2006) ± (Plate 3)
Type Expenditure Total cost Rupees (nearest 1000) 450,000 300,000 300,000 125,000 100,000 300,000 500,000 200,000 250,000 500,000 100,000 Income Compensation (nearest 1000)
Loss of timber Damaged trees Loss of crops/ banana. Vegetable, fruit trees Damaged billboard Cost of clearance Cost of house repair Cost to Electricity Board Cost to Sri Lanka Telecom Replacement cost Draw on savings expected Loss of interest on savings
Total environment cost
Value of help govt Personal material help in kind during the hazard/ accommodation/ lending the saw/ help to clean-up/ Total loss
150,000 (04/06/2006) 200,000
1 child refused to live in the parent¶s house and lived with grandmother for three weeks and still fears wind. 13 others (8 females and 5 females are worried about recurrence) Information Only a house wife who listens to Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation ³Rajarata Sevaya´ knew what to do as she learned from the environment programme conducted by the author. She saw the dark black cloud coming rapidly towards the village and she got all her family members in to the centre of the house and waited near the strong dinner table, ready to go under it if the wind began any destruction of her house. Only the banana plants in her garden were damaged.
23 families have incurred heavy damage and none of them have listened to the environment programmes on hazards, as they prefer to listen always to music on other channels. After being informed of the service they promised to listen to programmes on environment more carefully. Societies of the poor countries of the world suffer from many types of environmental hazards, due to non-adherence to scientific information on hazard management, lack of coordination between agencies of hazard management and socio-political corruption. Further the belief systems of the people exposed to hazards play a vital role in the delay of acceptance of warnings given by the scientific community. Any programme on hazards response has to be placed on a scientific data and supported by any other data relevant sociological or even unexplained sources of information and the response should be quick and efficient. References Jayasundara, J.M.S.B (2002), Is the Puwakgahawela Phenomenon a Landslide? Field Report / RJFR/SS/2006/, Department of Social Sciences, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Belihuloya, RJFR/SS/002 Seneviratne, H.M.M.B. (2006) Ramboda ±Mathale ± System C and System H field class report, 20th to 23rd April 2006Report Number SSCFR / HMMBS/ 2006 / 01/, Department of Social Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, Mihinthale. RJFR/SS/ 003
Environmental Hazard Management Hazard management is one of the rapidly developing sciences in academia and business today. This is because it is clearly understood now that a meaningful development cannot be achieved without a proper hazard control system in place. The developed countries have put in a massive hazard management programme in the past 10 years and they are stabilising their programmes and are reducing time of prediction, increasing the accuracy of prediction, increasing the success rate of search and rescue, finding new ways of reconstruction and even research is at an advanced stage to control massive hazards like earthquakes and cyclones through human intervention in the basic geological process. However the situation in the developing world is not promising with increasing corruption and gluttony taking over from science and systematic hazard management. Management of hazards Management provides the best possible way of reducing the loss of life and property from a hazard. However, most of the management practises recommended by the hazard manager will not be applicable if the required infrastructure is not provided, education programmes are not conducted and societal participation is not activated.
The basic steps in hazard management are given in Table 4/1 and 4/2 in summary form. Table 4/1 Basic steps in hazard management -* risk level ± see Appendix
Management step Identify the hazard/s Research and monitoring Taking control and if possible preventive measures (remember no hazard can be fully controlled, but proper management techniques can be used to minimise loss of life and property) Concurrent activity Use of scientific method to identify the hazard/ study the nature, recurrence/ risk level */ Long term scientific data collection and monitoring/ listening to local sources/ listening some traditional belief systems should not be forgotten/ Control ± There are some control measures, which can be taken to minimise the risk of any type of hazard. Most of the damages resulting from landslides, flood and accelerated erosion can be controlled through proper settlement and infrastructure planning. This will reduce the risk to less than 10 percent (Eg. All the developed countries have done this through education supported by strict adherence to environmental law) Accelerated erosion, deforestation, desertification, flood and landslides can be controlled with ± proper land management and settlement planning Corruption, gluttony and sadism can be controlled by honest administration Conflict, riot and war can be controlled by developing proper socio-political understanding Prevention ± Most of the damages resulting from landslides, flood and accelerated erosion can be prevented through proper settlement and infrastructure planning. This will reduce the risk to less than 10 percent (Eg. All the developed countries have done this through education supported by strict adherence to environmental law)
Table 4/2 Basic steps in hazard management
Management step Preparation Concurrent activity Preparation Prepare the society to listen to warning system ± radio/TV/ and local organisation mobile telephone link or radio link/ rehearse evacuation plan/ select local immediate response team. In here local social/ medical, engineering/ security resources must be used Prepare the emergency supplies in the nearest possible place to the hazard ± dry rations, clean water, clothing, baby food, essential medicine and portable equipment required for search and rescue ( in bunkers/ high ground shelters) Security forces for immediate response Search, rescue and medical aid Relief supply system Temporary shelters Temporary communications Armed forces on alert See pages 122 and 123 Education, organisational frame work (specially the local societal organisations), financial resources, evacuation, shelter Education, organisational frame work (specially the local societal organisations), financial resources, evacuation, shelter Education, organisational frame work (specially the local societal organisations), financial resources, evacuation, shelter
Facing the hazard Rehabilitation (from regional and national funding) Recovery (from regional and national funding) Stabilisation and (from regional and national funding) rebuilding
The other activities can be controlled from either the regional or national hazard management organisations after the completion of search and rescue, because these activities are already with the responsibilities of existing ministerial system in any country. The most important factor in geological hazard management is research and monitoring, which is the only way to reduce loss of life and property, thus reducing damage. Research and monitoring will give information on safe areas to live, build settlements and infrastructure and manage environment. In the management of societal hazards the application of rule of law and exercising a free and fair judgement on all citizens has been proven correct. This is because almost 95 percent of the societal hazards occur from carelessness, not adhering to the law of the country, gluttony and sadist behaviour. The developed nations and rapidly developing nations of the world have shown us that reduction of sociopolitical corruption can accelerate development even if the nation is prone to severe geological hazards. For example China and Japan are two countries hit by a minimum of one major earthquake every 10 to 20 years and an average of two destructive cyclones/typhoons every year. But an efficient hazard management system helps Japan to become the second largest economy of the world and China to maintain an 8 to 9 percent growth in the last five years. On an international scale of presence of corruption Japan indicates about 10 to 12 percent corruption while in China it is said to be around 15 percent. Sri Lanka is estimated to be about 60 to 70 percent corrupt and Nigeria is the most corrupt country with almost 100 percent corruption. In these two poor developing countries effect of environmental hazards have retarded the economic development in the past 10 to 20 years. Environmental Hazard Manager Environmental hazard manager requires the services of many types of scientists, human resource managers and security service personal. The largest environmental hazard management organisation is in U.S.A. The structure of the hazard management system is given in Figure 4.1 Figure 4.1(next page) FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY (USA)
Home Land Security Cabinet Member FEMA THE PRESIDENT
National Guard US Armed Forces
N.H.C U.S.G.S NOAA N.W.C PTWC
State Governor Police Fire Emergency Services Volunteers NGO¶s Philanthropists
University Research Centres Technical Research Centres National and State Media Warning System
Key : arrow indicates the interrelationship - Thickness of the arrow indicate the value of the link to people
N.H.C - National Hurricane Centre PTWC ± Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre U.S.G.S ± United States Geological Service NOAA - North American Atmospheric Authority N.W.C ± National Weather Centre
It indicates the value of basic research, which leads to minimise the loss of life. In the last 20 years USA (government and people) lost about 2000 billion dollars worth of property due to natural environmental and societal environmental hazards and the loss of life is estimated to be 15200 (excluding traffic accidents). This is a low damage level for USA and it is achieved due to continuous research and adhering to a scientific settlement planning and warning system on environmental hazards Work schedule of the US environmental hazard control system Study/Research The basic research on environmental hazards is conducted by the University system and technical research centres and these results are fed into the national research centres and warning centres. University research scientists and people who head the national research centres should posses basic and research degrees in their respective fields. Monitoring/Warning Data for monitoring and warning is gathered by all research organisations and analysed with the help of specialists in the field who are University research scientists. When a hazard is predicted the state authorities take over the warning system through national television, radio network and Internet. Police will travel around the most vulnerable areas warning people of the locality. If the hazard is of national nature (the control of 9/11 World Trade centre Attack) the office of the president will control it through FEMA and special security
services like FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), CIA (Central Intelligence Authority) and NSO (National Security Organisation). Search, Rescue and Relief Normally conducted by the state authorities, but federal help is always available. FEMA keeps a massive storage of food, water and medical supplies in stock away from hazard zone and deliver when required. Rehabilitation and Rebuilding Normally conducted by the state authorities, but federal help is always available. FEMA keeps a massive storage of food, water and medical supplies in stock away from hazard zone and deliver when required. Failure rate Failure rate in Warning, Search, Rescue and Relief in this organisational framework is estimated to be 10 to 12 percent. The most devastating and damaging hazard in the history of USA occurred on the 28th of August 2005. It destroyed an area of about 123,000 square kilometres (about twice the size of Sri Lanka), but the death toll was below 2000. The prediction was 80 percent accurate and most of the deaths occurred among the people who refused to listen to the warning to evacuate. Tank Cascade system ( Weva saha Gama Parisara Kalamanakarana kramaya Wegapakala Kramaya) of environmental Management : A time tested programme for areas with seasonal drought. ( the term Weva is used in the following presentation as tank is not suitable for the reservoir which was constructed not only to store water, but to fulfil many other requirements of the area which it is situated) Cascade system of environmental management is one of the best sustainable solutions to seasonal drought, which is practised today in a more modernised form in many developed countries for irrigation, power generation and urban water supply. This system is capable of providing a system, which is universally acceptable in environmental management.
The system practised in Sri Lanka during the period of ancient civilisation was designed to fulfil the following requirements. 1. Collect high runoff from the catchments where rocky ridges and hardpan latosols resulted in high rate of runoff during thunderstorms and depressional rain. Both rocky ridges and hardpan latosols have low infiltration and very low percolation capacity. An experiment conducted in Mihinthale area between October 2005 and May 2006 revealed that between 80 to 90 percent of the runoff from the two 2 sample sites (forest cover and cultivated) were released into the streams or interfluve clay pans. 2. Stabilise the surface ground water flow in the catchment to support a system composed of forest, shrub, grassland, village, tank and cultivated areas. The experiment indicates that the stabilisation is present in the areas with more than 60 percent forest cover. 3. Direct runoff as soon as possible to the storage system of tanks, where evaporation is efficiently controlled. Weva is not the central point in this management system, because its success was determined not by the size of the weva or amount of water collected in it, but by the environmental management installed to make the weva to be filled during the rainy season and prevent water wastage by the users. The weva was designed on the basis of available quantity of water, where stream order and discharge was calculated with precision ( Paranavitane, 1959). The first order weva (Kulu Weva) were followed by the second order weva (Kuda weva) and the third order weva (Maha Weva) were the last in the system though many complex patterns are present within the weva hierarchy. There may be a relationship between the weva order and stream order as the experiment indicated. The first order weva were constructed on the 4th or higher order (Strahler, 1967) streams at the field mapping level. Most of these appear as 1st or 2nd order streams in Aerial Photos and mostly as 1st order in 1:50,000 topographic sheets. The 1st and 2nd order streams in this identification are truly ephemeral unless fed by an artificial source like wastewater from a settlement or cultivated land. The 3rd and 4th order streams flow between 1 to 3 days after rain from middle of November to mid January.
The system is not always simple and there were complex construction systems to handle local situations, which demanded special techniques. These local situations arose from the variations of rock type, soil cover, slope and land use. The experiment showed that micro-slopes were responsible for loss of water to the stream and to weva. The average slope in most of the cascades is in the region of 1:10,000 to 1:25,000, where a slight variation in slope will result in accumulation of water in the micro-basin type formations on latosols. During the experiment it was clear that a rise of slope by 4 to 6 centimetres locally would lead to heavy blockage of water flow to the stream. Then it was paramount that the settlement, cropland, shrub land and forest were kept in pristine condition as the most damaging disturbance to the regular flow of water into the stream system generally originates from human activities. Firstly, the settlement in this system was located in a high ground besides the weva or cultivated area. This prevented wastewater, seepage of sewage residue and animal waste and other types of solid and liquid waste entering weva. Further the location allowed the settlement to direct its wastewater into some type of wastewater pond, which was used as a recycling unit. Non-existence of chemical waste may have allowed these ponds to be non-toxic and some types of plants and fish may have been used in this organic recycling or cleaning system. There is evidence that craft industries like iron, silver and paint production was situated in special locations where their waste was not allowed to enter weva. Secondly, though it is not very clear, inscriptions and designs of the sacred and built up areas of the ancient civilisation support an existence of a highly developed hydrological management system. Wastage of water was controlled with heavy legal and communal commands and user-friendly system was maintained. Rocky ridges were not utilised for settlements and they were either fully conserved or kept in the custody of monks, who managed the area in pristine condition. The experiment conducted on these areas indicate that the rock ridges under the care of monks had about 4 to 6 times more springs than the areas closer to settlement. The specific purpose of the shrub, forest and the upper catchment of weva were defined by law and tradition and the law breakers were punished.
This system was capable of maintaining a population of about 5 million 8 million between the period of 100 and 1100 AD, when the civilisation was in full bloom. National plan for the civilisation was in operation with periods of rapid and slow phases of weva building, resettlement in the peripheries and inter-basin water transfer (Paranavitane, 1959). Today the total disregard for the weva cascade system originate from the public sector planning of settlements (including Resettlement programme since 1930), construction of roads and railways, establishment of forest plantations, construction of large government and private sector institutions, waste dumping and land fill. These activities have increased the regular blockage of 1st, 2nd and 3rd order streams in the area, destroyed some of them totally and redirected water to local depressions where they accumulate and evaporate, thus seriously starving the 1st order weva system. It is clear that the present civilisation of the wet zone has never managed to understand the principle of environmental management of the ancient civilisation though rhetoric is evident in all types of utterances and unscientific publications. It is time that we attempt to understand that it is not only the existence of the cascade system which made possible for the development of the dry zone civilisation, but the hydrological management system in operation through various royal instructions and laws, which defined the terms of water conservation and water use. Existence of officials like dolos-maha-vatan, va-vajarama, vel-kami and compensation paid for loss due to royal order clearly indicate this existence of an efficient management system. If the orders of the palace were not conducted properly the officials responsible were punished. Then it is clear that this system of management was user friendly, community oriented, but strictly legal and orderly (Paranvitane, 1959). The king himself was well educated on his duties and was under the guidance of council of ministers and high dignitaries. We must understand the value of drainage and hydrological management if we are to solve the major problem in Sri Lanka and prevent the destruction caused to regular flow of streams in the dry zone during the wet season. The present planning system or the legal system is not built on this type of regularisation and today we are forced to depend on interbasin water transfer. However, it is clear that we are even
unable to maintain a well operational inter-basin water transfer system at present due to poor upper watershed management. There is chaos in the drought control system and it is high time we understand that this problem can be solved only through a well-managed scientific system and not by just feeding the area with water from somewhere as we do today. The management of environmental hazards require a holistic approach, where the physical hazards are controlled through technical expertise and the societal organisation required for the stabilisation of environment is to be conducted through the implementation of laws and regulations and development of positive attitudes. Therefore, environmental hazards management programme requires the support of an organisational framework with knowledge and authority if it is to support the survival of humanity. A proposal for a environment management plan for present linear settlement system (Seneviratne, H.M.M.B. and Siddhisena, K.A.P., Control of Sedimentation of waterways through a household based programme, Relating environment to Regional Development, Programme and Abstracts, USJ-Sida/SAREC Research Cooperation Project and Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Joint International Conference , 15 to 16th September, 2002, Trans Asia, Colombo) The primary objective of this paper is to present the available information on the value of household empowerment in the regional development, with special reference to the problem of sedimentation and its effect on regional and national development of Sri Lanka. The secondary objective is to present the experiences gained in this area of research and forms a strategy in the control of sedimentation, at the household level. The alternative development as presented succinctly by Friedmann (1992), indicates the importance of household in the modern development process. The household and the farmland are identified as the major sediment supplier to the sedimentation system. Home gardens of Sri Lanka are poorly organized to prevent the flow of sediments to the local network of drains. In turn the authorities poorly maintain the local network of drains responsible for the prevention of soil erosion.
The rapid increase in the population of the farming areas of Sri Lanka has increased the housing density of these two villages by an average of 30 to 40 percent in the last decade, but the removal of excess water produced by pavementation has not been considered important. The paper will attempt to forward a long term program, which is aimed at reducing the maintenance cost of regional authorities on roads, minor irrigation works and increase the environment value through improved water situation which is hoped to be achieved through household based sedimentation control program. References Friedmann, J (1992) Empowerment: The politics of alternative development, Blackwell, UK. Key words: Household, empowerment, alternative, regional development, sedimentation, waterways, village, farmland. Two special case studies from Sri Lanka Drinking water supply One of the major physical and health hazard in Sri Lanka is drinking water supply. There is no safe drinking water in the public supply system as people are forced to boil or filter water before drinking. The detailed survey conducted in 7 provinces of Sri Lanka (3400 cases) is given in Table 4/3. Table 4/3 Drinking water supply
Source All the time Direct from supply All the time Boiled All the time Filtered All the time Buy bottled water All the time Boiled and filtered Sometimes direct from supply Sometimes boiled Sometimes filtered Sometimes Buy bottled water (on journey) Rarely from direct supply Rarely boiled Rarely filtered Rarely Buy bottled water (on journey) Not answered Percentage 20 16 11 02 05 11 08 13 02 04 02 01 03 02
The unsafe nature of water arises from leakages, breaks and contamination at the receiving point, as most of the public taps and their surroundings are not kept clean. Well water in the rural areas is fairly safe but locally farm chemicals contaminate them. Streams and rivers are contaminated by heavy use of farm chemicals, sedimentation and urban waste and sewage. The largest single group of diseases in hospital registers is intestinal infectious and malaria (Department of Health, 2000), which has a clear relationship to drinking water supply. In addition the presence of Renal failure in the North Central province of Sri Lanka and diarrhoea in Mathale district are also linked to poor quality drinking water by many researchers (Seneviratne, 2003b). Roads Roads are the major arteries of flow of people and goods in any modern economy anywhere in the world. There is chaos on roads of Sri Lanka, with extremely high congestion, road surface breakages and damaging effect on property and life. This situation is a result of non-application of rules of construction and maintenance and highway code in the road system of Sri Lanka, which makes them the most hazardous place in the country. Table 4/4 shows the results obtained in a field traverse of 1754 kilometers through seven provinces of Sri Lanka. The total number of road accidents in which the people involved required hospital treatment in Sri Lanka in 2000 was about 320,000 and fatality was 2150. Vehicles in the category of vans, lorries and buses caused 70 percent of these accidents. The primary cause of road accidents in Sri Lanka can be identified as poor road literacy and anti-social behaviour of big sized vehicle operators. In an analysis of 250 accidents in a selected police district it was clear that 64 percent of the accidents were caused by drivers of big sized vehicles (van, bus, lorry and trailer lorry). Further it is clear that impatience and drunkenness of these drivers have caused the accidents. According to Police parking on A and B category
Table 4/4 Road condition
Status Road type Roadside parking is a problem/serious problem Bad 42 65 65 Very bad 35 18 27
Good A ± 423 kilometres B - 819 kilometres C ± 4 12 23 17 08
Serious problem Serious problem Problem
Status Good ± minimum loss of time due to road surface condition Bad - some loss of time due to road surface condition Very bad ± significant loss of time due to road surface condition Parking ± Serious problem ± journey is delayed and hazardous to pedestrians Problem - journey is delayed Slight problem - hazardous to pedestrians roads also contribute to accidents and they require stiffer punishments. According to information received from police sources the increase of fines for speeding and drunk driving in 2006 is reaping results as fatal accidents have decreased by about 2 percent since the beginning of 2006. Lack of application of road laws and regulations, corruption in the political and social elite, who receive favours and the corruption of the officers of law are cited as the major reasons for most of these accidents by media and peoples organisations. Therefore this is a very good example of a serious man made environmental hazard in Sri Lanka though Sri Lanka boasts of 91 percent literacy. ³ We got to live in harmony with the planet and Tsunami is a classic example of a clash between a planet and humanity, and humanity lost. We think we run our lives and we control our destinies. Planet controls our destinies.´ (2005 February, Unstoppable Wave, Discovery Channel)
References Paranavitane, S. (1959) Civilisation of the period: Economic, Social and Political conditions, in History of Ceylon, Ed Ray, H.C., Ceylon University Press, Colombo.
Conclusion The impact of environmental hazards is increasing at an alarming rate due to two major factors. Firstly, the rapid increase in the population of the world leads to construction of settlements in marginal areas. Secondly, the value of human life and products used by humans is increased rapidly with increased amount of consumables in the possession, which is damaged by environmental hazards. These two scenarios are to continue during the 21st century and the loss of life and property from environmental hazards is expected to increase about to a maximum of five fold between 2000 and 2050. It is the view of the scientific community that only through a concerted effort on understanding and predicting environmental hazards that human society can avert large-scale destruction. One group of scientists are of the view that the geological hazards will increase with climatic change and future is bleak for the mankind. The other group is of the view that it is the man-induced changes and man-made sociological hazards, which are more important than the geological hazards. However the use of scientific method will reduce the damaging effect of environmental hazards and it has to be followed at all times. Sri Lanka will face some geological disturbances, failure of monsoons, increased incidences of tornadoes and line squalls with high intensity winds and rain and increase in the number of large landslides. These geological hazards are expected to erase many achievements made by people towards economic stability, specially the poor. Annual loss to low income group will be in the region of one to two billion rupees annually and the loss of income to the nation may be in the region of 5 to 10 billion rupees. This amount is calculated through the addition of all the capital and recurrent expenditure on payment of compensation for loss of life, treatment of injured, repair and replacement of housing, property damage, loss of livelihoods, crops, damage of public property like roads, drains, culverts, bridges, embankment failure, continuous clearing of roads of soil and rock fall and many other damages. Most of the personal losses are not properly compensated in Sri Lanka and following data sheet indicate (Table 5/1) the reality of most of the people subjected to an environmental hazard.
However, the environmental hazard, which creates the most destructive effect at present in Sri Lanka is corruption. Corruption results in aggravating and sometimes formation of environmental hazards through gluttony and political evaluation of natural phenomena. Using data from investigative reports and judicial records in media, it is clear that a loss of about 100 to 150 billion rupees occur due to corrupt practises in the implementation of environmental legislation, not supporting scientific adaptive measures and not adhering to scientific principles of environmental planning and control.
Table 5/1 ± Story of recovery from an environmental hazard in Sri Lanka, Site ± Puwakgahawela Landslide (the respondent lost his farmland and livelihood)
Item Loss of farmland Loss of livelihood ±working as a farm labourer in the fields which were destroyed by the landslide Schooling of children is affected as he has lost the crop Continuous help Damage ±cost in Rupees 15,000 annually 20,000 can be earned by going far, but about 1/3rd will be spent on transport and food when he travel far Compensation received Food and clothing 10,000 rupees No compensation . he has to go far to work and spent on transport and be away from his family Some school books were distributed
A visit after 6 months to the family confirmed that there is no continuous help to recover from the disaster and the respondent is suffering from loss of income and his children and wife are affected A visit after 1 year showed that the respondent has not recovered fully from the effect A visit after 2 years showed that the respondent has begun to recover and very critical of the public authorities for not keeping to the promises made about clearing rubble from the farmland.
Appendix 1 Risk: risk is present in all activities we pursue in our daily lives. Risk of environmental hazards cannot be fully calculated because the nature of occurrence varies from one incident to another. Further, the level of risk of an occurrence changes from one society to another. For example people living in coastal areas are generally not fearful of the sea, but inland living people fear sea. In addition people do not think about risk unless there is a threatening situation around and sometimes they think that though there is a risk, it may not be life threatening. These types of attitudes make the scientific value of risk not universally applicable. However the concept behind the scientific notion of risk is to construct a generally acceptable concept of risk using statistical probabilities. In relation to environmental hazards, risks can be categorised as involuntary and voluntary (Smith, 2000). Involuntary risks are the risks, which are undertaken without knowing the severity of the hazard. Living in an earthquake zone or landslide area makes the person to know about the risk, but he cannot fully estimate the risk. This is because the occurrence of these types of events is not fully predictable and they do not occur all the time. Most of the geological risks are in this category. Voluntary risks are the risks taken with a full knowledge of the hazard. For example living on the bank of a river which floods every year makes the resident aware of the risk, but because of lack of land in a safe area leads him to live in a high risk area. All types of societal hazards can be put into this category. Statistical analysis of risk is based on theories of probability and simple equation of R= p x L can be used to calculate risk of an event R is risk p is the probability of the event L is the loss To calculate probability of an event there are many statistical and mathematical procedures, which can be taken from books on statistics.
Selected Subject Index Topic Drought ± Page 3, 4, 9, 16, 17, 23, 26, 27, 28, 31, 35, 36, 39, 50, 52, 106, 107, 115, 117, 126, 136, 147, 151 5, 9, 16, 20, 21, 23, 26, 28, 30, 31, 32, 34, 35, 36, 45, 46, 50, 52, 55, 57, 58, 59, 88, 94, 101, 106, 107, 112, 115, 116, 117, 125, 126, 127, 130, 134, 135, 136, 137, 142, 159 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 30, 31, 34, 50, 53, 104, 106, 113, 117, 125, 133, 134, 135, 140, 142, 156, 158, 159 9, 16, 17, 36, 46, 47, 87, 89, 91, 106, 107, 126, 131, 138, 156 3, 4, 21, 36, 39, 46, 50, 87, 88, 106, 107, 115, 117, 131, 144
Earth quake/earth tremor ± 126.96.36.199.13, 15, 23, 25, 32, 39, 40, 46, 51, 101,106, 124, 130, 141, 144, 159 Tsunami ± 5, 6, 15, 16, 40, 41, 46, 109, 124, 127, 129, 137, 146