Floods; Where We Went Wrong- Part 2
Continuing from our blog series on the floods that the country faced the past month, with thousands displaced and people still recovering from the property damage and loss of life, today we take a look at what really caused the floods.
If one was to take a look at the areas that were affected most severely in the western province were those situated along the Kelani river basin. We have regulations in effect that prohibit temporary or permanent structures being constructed within 150m, it is evident that these regulations have not been enforced through the years. Residential structures are constructed on the very river banks along every river in the country.
The Kelani River which saw an 8ft increase in level was recognized as the most destructive force during the floods this year with most of the affected areas lying in close proximity to it. And these are not just residential structures, today hotels and commercial building have encroached on the rivers and the floodplains are now fully developed. Riffles and pools that lie in each river have been constructed over. As Dr. Pradeep puts it. Inland there are always clearly marked demarcations, but on the river bank people keep filling in to get more land.
The primary concern today is not how we develop the country further, but how do we undo the damage that unplanned development has caused. ‘When national physical plans are made for mega projects and development’ Dr. Pradeep elaborated, ‘they must be formulated by experts, and once such a plan is formulated, it must be carried out and monitored by said experts regardless of changes in the country’s leadership’
Continuing in bringing to you, an account of where we went wrong; for the rain that is the harbinger of life, to instead cause such devastation; next week we will take a look at Dr. Pradeep’s four pronged plan to prevent such an incident occurring once more.
Read next: Floods; Where We Went Wrong- Part 3
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