A three-tiered approach comprising reduction of probability of flooding or dam breaks, sustainable flood-proof spatial planning and building, and conventional disaster preparedness that has been developed in the Netherlands was a key element of the comprehensive presentation made in the course of the 2nd LIRNEasia Disaster Risk Reduction Lecture by Dr Aad Correlje of the Delft University of Technology held on the 27th April 2011 at the BCIS Auditorium in Colombo.
The lecture also served as a memorial to the victims of the Kantale dam disaster in April 1986, 25 years ago. The documentary made by Divakar Goswami on the Kantale disaster was shown and a minute of silence was observed.
The response panel comprising Bandula Mahanama (a community leader from one of the worst flood-affected areas in the Polonnaruwa District), S. Karunaratne (Sri Lanka National Committee on Large Dams), Dr Kamal Laksiri (Ceylon Electricity Board) and Mr U.W.L. Chandradasa (Disaster Management Center) was ably moderated by Nalaka Gunawardene. Energetic participation by the audience focused on the incentive structures the privilege construction and rehabilitation over maintenance and the possibilities of getting communities involved in safeguarding the dams that form a critical part of Sri Lanka’s culture and self-image.
The presentation by Aad Correlje is here.