Pointing out that there remained a dearth of continuous data in relation to meteorology, the academic community charged that the State and the Government were not providing meteorological, weather and climate related data to researchers in the country.

Emeritus Professor at the Department of Geography of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Prof. Jinadasa Katupotha said that the Department of Meteorology, the Department of Coast Conservation, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority which oversees harbours and the Navy, did not possess continuous data pertaining to tide tables about tidal levels, changes in the sea level, rain gauge data concerning rainfall, data regarding water discharge from rivers, temperature and humidity.

“Researchers engaging in research projects are being requested by the authorities and institutions of the State and the Government to pay for the data from funds afforded to projects,” he added.

Like the enormous waste incurred on the modern Doppler weather radar system, it is ludicrous for President Maithripala Sirisena to state that equipment donated by Japan for purposes of gathering important data will save the day for the country, he noted, adding that it was ridiculous for him to hold officials as entirely responsible for destroying the environment when it was politicians who were mostly at fault.

“This data which can be used for daily, weekly, monthly and annual forecasting cannot be obtained for purposes of research. The data if available can be utilized to arrive at understandings which could in turn inform policy level decision making processes,” he observed.

He further said that the observations and recommendations of the researches could be used to control situations similar to the natural and man-made disaster experienced by the country recently. Elsewhere, sand is required for the nourishment of coastal areas, yet there is no sand.