U.S. and Sri Lankan Governments Discuss Disaster Preparedness ahead of South-Western Monsoons

Friday, August 24, 2018
U.S. and Sri Lankan governments discuss disaster preparedness

The outgoing U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives, USAID Mission Director Reed Aeschliman, and USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) Regional Advisor met with Sri Lanka’s Minister of Irrigation, Water Resources Management, and Disaster Management to discuss the country’s preparedness ahead of the monsoon season.  Topics included past and ongoing U.S. financial and technical assistance for disaster preparedness, management, and recovery. The USAID/OFDA Regional Advisor also met with government agencies, such as the National Building Research Organization (NBRO) and the Meteorological Department, and Sri Lankan and international humanitarian response experts to discuss improvements to disaster management systems and information sharing.

As part of the ongoing support to disaster preparedness, in April, USAID OFDA supported a delegation from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to travel to Sri Lanka to discuss landslide hazards and risk reduction. The delegation,  hosted by the NBRO, included two Research Geologists with the USGS Landslide Hazards Program and the USAID/OFDA-USGS Geoscience Advisor. The delegation with NBRO officials traveled together to several landslide sites in the mountains near Kandy and Badulla, including the Aranayaka landslide site. This visit highlighted the NBRO’s broad responsibilities for landslide risk reduction and their advanced landslide monitoring and mitigation capabilities. These meetings also provided opportunities for valuable information exchanges, and the USGS-NBRO teams identified promising avenues for improvements and research collaborations. Currently, USAID/OFDA assistance strengthens the Sri Lankan government’s capacity to coordinate government agencies and aid organizations, improves flash flood monitoring and warning, and trains hospitals in emergency preparedness.  Other USAID support to Sri Lankans disaster preparedness include support for a regional South Asia global flash flood guidance system, collaboration on landslide research and technology, and rainwater-harvesting systems as a practical, disaster-resilient water supply option.

 

Last updated: August 24, 2020

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