Sri Lanka is suffering through what officials have called the country’s worst drought in four decades. More than 1 million people are experiencing acute water shortages, Al Jazeera reported on Sunday. And officials warn that the prolonged dry spell is far from over.
The country has had warnings for months that a severe drought was impending. There were rainfall shortages across the nation for almost the entirety of 2016; according to Reuters, some districts witnessed a 60 to 70 percent reduction in average annual rainfall.
In October, a lack of rain and scorching temperatures caused some local wells and reservoirs to run dry. “We are almost dying of thirst,” Tissa Poddibanda, a villager from North Central province, one of the areas hit hardest by the drought, told Reuters at the time.