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Chapter 6 Drought Risk Reduction in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka

Droughts in Asian Monsoon Region

ISBN: 978-0-85724-863-3, eISBN: 978-0-85724-864-0

Publication date: 8 November 2011


Chronicles and literary records show that Sri Lanka has been affected by various natural disasters from time to time in the past, as it is now. The sea surge/coastal flooding during King Kelani Tissa's reign, around 190 BC could have been a tsunami. A severe drought and famine known as Beminitiya Seya occurred during the intermittent reign of the Brahmin King Thiya (Tissa) and King Valagamba (89–77 BC). There are also references to droughts prior to this, namely, Akkakayika Seya (it is said that about 24,000 monks died and others left the country, and some of those who remained survived by eating kara leaves). Subsequently, this led King Valagamba to undertake to record the sayings of the Buddha (Tripitaka) for posterity. Duttagamini (161–137 BC), Ekanalika Seya during the reign of King Kunchanaga (187–189 AD) and others, none of which had been as severe as Beminitiya Seya. Apart from these extreme hazard events other incidents have been reported, including the flooding incidents during the British rule (National Disaster Management Plan, 2007).


Nianthi, R. (2011), "Chapter 6 Drought Risk Reduction in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka", Shaw, R. and Nguyen, H. (Ed.) Droughts in Asian Monsoon Region (Community, Environment and Disaster Risk Management, Vol. 8), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 97-120.



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