The SLWP partner from Upper Mahaweli Area Water Partnership ,the Lions Club of Pilimatalawe supported by medical personnel of the Gamage Hospital Mawanella conducted a medical camp for the displaced persons of Ma Oya Area Water Partnership from Aranayake land slides.
Prizewinning student speaks..
“ Ma Oya is not only a blessing for people like us living in the Aranayake area. It provides life-giving water to thousands of people until it reaches the sea at Kochchikade. But the way elders are abusing this beautiful waterway children like us will not be able to enjoy the benefit for very long. Is there no law in the country to prevent this relentless river sand mining and polluting? There is but there is no one to effectively apply the law. So my dear children we will have to do whatever in our power to protect and preserve this great gift we have got from nature……………………………………………………….”
Kollonawa area in the eastern suburbs of Colombo has suffered the worst floods in almost three decades where it was battered by both sporadic flash floods as well as the overflowing of the Kelani river.
Whole neighborhoods have gone underwater displacing thousands of people.The overwhelming majority of the affected are families who had been already living in most alarming living conditions: dire poverty, abysmal sanitation, poor education and nutrition.
SLWP has a reliable ground level contact in the Chair of a community based organisation in Aranayake. the Ma Oya Kuda Oya Surakeeme Vaparaya (Movement to save Ma Oya And Kuda Oya ) , Mr Gamini Atampawela (077 3680808) who is visiting the site and reporting on the ground situation. He says that this morning (19.5.16) the landslide site received the same amount of rain as pre landslide and a crack is being observed in the Saamasara mountain. So another landslide is imminent on the same site. Another fourteen houses were swept away in a mini landslide in neighboring Udagama a while ago. Ambalakanda mountain too suffered a landslide but all families had been evacuated. The Balungala mountain is developing cracks.
Ma Oya is the site for one of the oldest Area Water Partnerships of the Sri Lanka Water Partnership. Aranayake is situated in the upper catchment of Ma Oya where a devastating landslide following three days of torrential high intensity rains has buried three villages near the small town of Dippitiya, namely Siripura, Pallebage and Elagipitya.
According to the Sri Lanka Red Cross, more than two hundred families are still missing .
We recollect with sadness that the last activity we had in this area was a World Water Day school program for children, some of them coming from the devastated villages .
We grieve for the bereaved families and will work to support the living.
GWP SAS – Regional Council Member
As part of the Sri Lanka Water Partnership (SLWP) continuing programme on Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) in the irrigation sector, a workshop on the above was held on the 24th March 2016 for Irrigation Department (ID) staff of the Monaragala District at the In-Service Training Institute of the Department of Agriculture at Angunakolapellessa. The 35 participants (27 male and 8 female) included Engineers, Engineering Assistants, Development Officers and Field Assistants of the ID.
For World Water Day (WWD) 2016 several programmes are being held island wide by SLWP. A farmer programme for promoting water productivity, adoption of best practices to cope with climate change is being arranged in collaboration with the Irrigation Department in Monaragala at which the Hon Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources will be chief guest.
Sri Lanka Water Partnership together with Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and Sampath Bank Plc organized a Stakeholder Consultative Seminar on Conservation of Bolgoda Wetland, the largest natural freshwater body in the island on 29.02.2016. The participants, following interactive discussions, came up with practical suggestions to protect Bolgoda wetland.
On the request of Secretary General/CEO of Chamber of Construction Industry (CCI), Chair/SLWP has contributed an article on Alternatives for River sand, which was published in the Monthly bulletin of Sri Lanka Chamber of Construction Industry, circulated with Daily News Paper, countrywide.
World Wetlands Day National Celebrations organized by the Central Environment Authority (CEA) and Wild Life Department (WLD) was held on 2nd February at a wetland site in Chilaw in the North Western Province under the Patronage of HE the President. A main feature was the award of Prizes by the HE to the best artists (Schools and Open) from the national art competition held in schools island wide.