The jaffna peninsula is situated in the extreme north of Srilanka
(map 1).it covers the entire jaffna District. Pachilapalli AGA Division
of the Kilinochchi District, which was temporarily attached to the
jaffna District earlier, has been transferred back. There are and
large islands around the peninsula. The peninsula is linked with
the southern mainland at Elephant pass. The total area of the peninsula
is 1,129.9 sq. km of which lagoons cover 45.7 sq. km.
JAFFNA PENINSULA IS DIVIDED INTO 4 SUB-REGIONS
3. Thenmarachchi and pachilapalli
The climate is tropical dry zone with temperatures ranging from
26C to 30 C. The highest temperature is normally recorded in the
months of April and May. Annual precipitation ranges from 696 mm
to 1.125 mm. it is fairly spread to 1,125 mm. it is fairly evenly
spread over the area but the North East Monsoon rains from October
to December account for 90% of the annual rainfalls.
dominant feature is a long stretch of water, forming an internal
lagoon, which divides the area almost into two, with the northern
outlet at Thondamanaru and the southern outlet at Ariyalai. The
area is flat and of low elevation except in the northern central
part of the western sector,in the area around Tellipalai, where
the elevation rises up to 10.5 M above M.S.L. from here it slopes
down gently twards the south and south-east, but to the north the
elevation tends to drop abruptly towards the sea.
The soil pattern of the peninsula varies from reddish brown to sandy
tracts. The reddish brown soil, which dominates in North Western
and North Eastern areas, has the best potential for cultivation
of up-land crops and fruits. Sand dunes are generally found in the
north and the south. Some of the sand dunes reach even an elevation
of 15 m above M.S.L Further to the south the area between kodikamam
and Elephant pass becomes low and flat with sandy soils. the low
land soil is gray. Areas bordering the lagoons are cored with saline
and alkaline soils..
ECOLOGY AND LAND USE
peninsula is divided into two agro-ecological zones (panabokke and
kannangara 1975). The main distinguishing characteristic of each
of these zones, that the land use for agricultural purpose, for
crops like paddy, vegetables, fruit trees, coconut and Palmyra,
has declined by 14 per cent between 1986 and 2001. lt was 44,160
hectares in year 1986 declined to 38,347 hectares in 2001. The notable
feature is the land with arable crops has been declined by 25 per
cent, fruit crops by 22 percent and coconut by 37%. Lt has been
estimated that about 5.800 hectares of lands have been abandoned
due to unstable conditions over the last 15 years. Buildings and
roads cover 21.3% of the land use in 1986 remains more or less constant
through out. the balance extent of land is composed of sadly scrap
jungle and barren lands. Although these lands have no economic use,
substantial investment is required to convert these lands for cultivation
by soil recondite toning and regenerating etc. and also choice of
appropriate crops of salt tolerance varieties.
is no river in the peninsula. Therefore, surface water for domestic
and agricultural purposes is scarce. However, there are over 1,000
ponds scattered all over the peninsula, which are replenished during
the rainy season. Most of them serve agricultural purposes, but
them are also used for domestic water supply and feeding livestock.
These ponds also increase the aquifer reserves (map 3) as water
percolates through the limestone into the underground. A distinctive
feature of the peninsula is the underground formation of limestone.
Due to this natural geological formation ground water is available
at depths of 6 to 14 meters. The water is extracted through open
dug wells constructed by the inhabitants for their domestic and
far no comprehensive hydrology cal survey has been carried out to
assess the quantity and quality of water available. in some areas
water has been extracted excessively, resulting in increased salinity
seasonally in some areas and permanently in others. Especially in
areas close to the sea there is a high risk of salt water intruding
into the fresh water permanently.
from all the conflict related social and economic problems and constraints
water is or will be one of the most limiting factors of development
in the future if the status quo is maintained. The need is to get
all water user to a common forum and work out strategies to overcome
shortages and pollution of freshwater.
socio- economic conditions of the Jaffna District depend mainly
on primary economic activities, agriculture, livestock and fisheries.
Land ownership is governed by the traditional and tenure system.
In the premium agricultural areas of Walikamam and Wadamarachchi
the percentage of tenant landless cultivators are very high. The
land holdings are very small. The total number of 84,416 holdings
covers only an extent of 24,924 hectares, which gives an average
of 0.3 hectares per allotment. Further, the smallest 73,483 allotments
cover only an extent of 9,051 hectares, which gives an average holding
size of about 0.12 hectares.
the beginning of the conflict 1983 local production and supply of
food items have been decreasing drastically. Food production, except
certain items, has never been and will never be sufficient to meet
the local demand. Only 10% of the requirements of the rice were
produced locally. 60% were brought in from the other Districts in
vanni , from Trincomalee and Batticaloa. The rest had to be imported
through Colombo. Vegetables and fruits were produced in Jaffna in
excess and a substantial part of it is marketed to Colombo and the
Vanni. The excess of seafood is also sold in the Colomdo market.50%
of the milk products were products locally and 80% of the meat 50%
of the milk needs were met by imports through Colombo (Milk Powder).20%
of the meat comes from the Vanni.
production has collapsed completely, but the number of cottage and
small-scale industries and self –employment schemes have been increasing
since 1997.the service sector has always been underdeveloped, and
trade is recovering slowly. The financial sector is well represented
with branches of all the national banks, but operational performance
does not meet the needs.