Core Activities 2016

Meeting with Bio Diversity Sri Lanka

A meeting was held to reviews the finding of “Wetworking and Conserving The Bolgoda Wetlands”   on date 21st at IWMI. Representatives of CEA, Department of Irrigation and The Bio Diversity Platform participated the meeting. Recommendation were also made consideration for inclusion of phase two of the programme likely to be implemented from 2017.

Gender and Water Dialog Programme Demodara

The estate sector in Sri Lanka has a history of neglect, poor living standards and limited access to basic amenities. It is known for  having  low human development indices compared to the rest of the country.  Access to safe sanitation in the estate sector is at a deplorable 52% in comparison to the 96% access present in the urban sector. This is partly related to long-term deficiencies in WASH and therefore SLWP decided to celebrate World Toilet Day on the 19th of December  by conducting its first full Tamil Language program for  estate sector stakeholders. The program was planned with fullest cooperation from the NWSDB RSC Badulla. The program was held in Southem Tamil MV in at Demodera.  Though 70 participants were expected 120

eventually turned up listened, asked questions and participated enthusiastically in the group work. Their views and insights will be very useful in planning future programs for this neglected sector.

 Meeting with Unilever for Tea Small Holder / Tea Estate Programme

A Meeting was held with Unilever Pt Ltd to discuss the proposed the three year IWRM project on Tea Small Holder / Tea Estates on 17th November. The Project includes designing and printing of a poster on water pollution in tea estates and together with the SLWP water cycle poster in a school / public awareness programme

SLWP Programme Committee Meeting was held on 28th October 2016.


Shooting of the UNDP supported film on “Impacts of mini hydro development” has been done and editing in progress.

Exhibition stall for 5th Asia Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum 2016.

The Asia Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum bring together policy makers, scientists, donors, youth and representatives from over 50 countries every year. With this years’ theme of “Adapting and Living below 2oC: Bridging the Gaps in Policy and Practice” the exhibition was held from 17th – 19th October 2016. Posters were displayed by SLWP and its partners Environmental Foundation Limited (EFL), Rukrekaganno and The Forest Conservators. Hand Out and other SLWP publication were disseminated among the school children who visited the stall. Also the stall was visited by GWP SAS Chair Dr. Lam Dor Ji.

Private Partner Activity – SLWP / COC Wetland Programme

This progarmme was designed to raise awareness among the school children highlighting the services and value of Bolgoda wetland complex  and was held at Sri Pragnananda Vidyalaya, Dampe, Piliyandala. Sixty students who are studying in grade 9 classes participated in this event.

This programme consisted of two types of activities: lectures and interactive activity. Eng. Badra Kamaladasa, Hon. Chair/ SLWP, in her presentation discussed how school children could take part in conserving wetlands. Prof. Deepthi Wickramasinghe, Hon. Executive Secretary/ SLWP delivered a speech explaining the values and services of wetlands and the importance of conserving these habitats. Ms. Chethika Gunasiri, Ecologist of the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Authority explained the threats, issues and current situation of the wetlands. Mr. Roshan de Silva of Sri Lanka Biodiversity and Ms. Sujeewa Ranasinghe, Deputy Director, Western Provincial Council participated as observers.

In the second part of the activity, students were grouped into 4 and were given the opportunity of presenting their ideas of conservation of Bolgoda wetland as poems, drawings, posters and as a result many such creative work have been delivered.

SLWP – HARTI Meeting

SLWP has sought ways of disseminating the WACREP video on climate change so as to reach a larger group of farmers officers and other stakeholders in irrigated agriculture. An ongoing activity called Communicating Climate Change was initiated with the SLWP partner HARTI. A meeting was held with the HARTI director general and communication team on the 7th October to identify possibilities of using the film in the National Govi Sathiya (farmer week) as the Minister of Agriculture  had requested HARTI to carry out trainings for all farmers in Agrarian Services Centers. The Director and the training staff were very impressed with the video due to its content and the way of presentation. They agreed to use the video during the special farmer training sessions conducted by HARTI during the forthcoming “Govi Sathiya Programme”. Large number of training sessions will be conducted simultaneously covering almost all the farmer organizations in the country.

A Steering Committee meeting of SLWP and a Programme Committee Meeting was held on 22nd September at IWMI

 Meeting with Chamber of Commerce.

Chair SLWP, Country Coordinator and Executive Secretary Prop Deepthi Wickramasinghe attended a discussion on September 19th  at the Chamber of Commerce with regard to a discussion on a follow up Phase 2 to the current Bolgoda study. A meeting with CEA will be arranged by COC and the preliminary ideas disused to be taken up will be finalized ASAP.

 SDG Workshop by the Ministry of Sustainable Development.

A SDG Goal 6 Workshop organized by the Ministry Of Sustainable Development in collaboration with UN ESCAP and the Ministry of City Water Supply was held on 15th September at   Lakdiya MeduraL Ms Kusum Athukorala RC Member SLWP made a case presentation  on Mini Hydro while Mr Ranjith Ratnayake. Country Coordinator SLWP made presentation on Historical and present institutional arrangements for water sector coordination. Strong links have been developed with both ministries and this will enable SLWP to undertake joint activities in the future.

Balana Sisu Jala Hamuwa Programme on Climate Change

Balana is part of the water short central massif where the NWSDB cannot provide piped water due to the steep terrain. Its only option for water are dug wells and springs which are being depleted due to rampant deforestation due to activities shielded/ led by local politicians . RWH is the only option and the neighboring village Dekinda -Motana already has several RWH tanks. NetWwater and Lions Club Pilimatalawe have long been working in this area in RWH. They had found a potential donor Ozo Lanka hotels who have agreed to fundraise for building a RWH for the Balana KV.

A Sisu JalaHamuwa on Climate Change and Water Security was held on the 6th September at Balana Kanishta Vidyalaya. This school does not have drinking water at all. Water for the toilet comes from a well which runs dry in the dry periods. Then water for sanitation purposes also has to be brought from neighboring houses.

A special feature of this program was that there was a large turnout of the parents and past students in this activity which augurs well for the future. There were 4 resource persons and 65 children in the activity. The parents have agreed to look into the status of the wells and springs in the area as none of the wells have had the water quality tested.

Consultative Workshop on Amendments to Irrigation Ordinance

On invitation by Secretary of Irrigation and water Resources Management, Country Coordinator, Mr Ranjith Ratnayake participated the Consultative workshop held at Foundation Institute, Colombo 7, on “Amendment to Irrigation Ordinance” held on 22nd August.  M/I & WRM is in the process of consulting various stakeholders and veterans in the water sector to identify the shortcomings of the current irrigation Ordinance in order to revise same to suit the current context. Invitation to Mr Ratnayaka was based on his long association of local and overseas irrigation and water sector. Mr Ratnayake contributed during the discussion in response to the issues raised by the workshop organizers.

SLWP Programme Committee Meeting was held on 18th August at SLWP.

SLWP collaboration on scouts Jamboree

The Colombo District Scouts Campfire was held at the Vihara Maha Devi Park Colombo on the 11-13th August with a water related theme involving 5000 scouts of the Colombo district.  SLWP was requested to support the activity by providing in a drama item for the opening ceremony, training the scouts in the Water Song for the ceremony and giving technical assistance for preparing a school sanitation survey to be completed by the scouts. The drama “  Wathura Kathura “ with the theme of water conservation  was performed by the children of Gadaladeniya M.V, Kandy , one of the schools provided with sustainable sanitation  by  SLWP and its partner NDB at the opening ceremony .

SLWP – CIDA Training Programme

The activity was organised by the Construction Industry Development Authority (CIDA) at the CETRAC training center, Pelawatte in collaboration with Sri Lanka Water Partnership on 14th July 2016. The program was facilitated by Dr Sugathapala University of Moratuwa and was attended by 40 persons from agencies, industry and civil society.

The activity covered a broad range of topics and was not confined only to engineering and construction issues but covered social and the need to give a new professionalism to counter the lack of labor, new training methods including use of ICTs changes of curriculum to promote changes in perception were discussed too. The concept of alternate sand was discussed with mixed reactions from the audience. The problem of the roofing materials, the asbestos ban value added innovation of traditional construction systems and the impact on low income housing groups was discussed.

SLWP Programme Committee Meeting was held on 13th June at SLWP.

Wetland Conservation Programme for School Children (Two Schools) on 28th June

As a part of a continuing joint programee with Sampath Bank and The Business Bio diversity Sri Lanka two school programmes to were held on conserving the Bolgoda wetland complex on 28th June 2016 in Dharmaraja Vidyalaya (DV), Piliyandala and Sir John Kothalawela Vidyalaya (SJKV), Piliyandala , where most of the students are residing in the watershed of the wetland. All of them, their family members and school mates are somehow or other are or can become stakeholders of this wetland conservation.

The structure of this awareness programmes was focused on active learning through interactive sessions including presentations, discussions, question and answer session etc. Panel of resource persons were Prof. Deepthi Wickramsinghe, Eng. Badra Kamaladasa, Dr. Missaka Hettiarachchi and Ms. Chethika Gunasiri. Ms. Sherani Ruberu from Sri Lanka Biodiversity and  Mr Thusitha Peiris from Sampath Bank too attended this event.

SLWP distributed an information leaflet on wetlands and “Water Messenger” badges to students. As the final activity at each programme, the students were given a chance to express their knowledge about wetlands and its conservation, using their creative abilities in poetry, art and essay writing. This was carried out by individual students as well as groups and interestingly students came out with excellent poems, posters and essays.  117 and 60 students participated in both schools respectively.

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 World Environmental Day Catchment Conservation Programme

The SLWP partners in Upper Mahaweli Area Water Partnership conducted a tree planting programme around the historic “Balana Fort” in Kadugannawa as its World Environment Day 2015 activity with support from Lanka Jalani, NetWwater and villager of the Balana area. The program and the community interest encouraged the Dept of Archaeology to provide a permanent watcher for Balana Fort. The local community organization “Balana Kotuwa Surakime Sanvidanaya” has organized a Blood donation program on the 25th June 2016. Each of the 150 donors were given a “Kohomba” plants for each blood doner as a token of appreciation and as part of the SLWP effort for supporting catchment conservation.

SLWP Programme Committee Meeting was held on 13th June at SLWP.

 SLWP-EFL Mini Hydro Programme (Bankers Meeting)

An awareness session for on mini hydro power projects was held in collaboration with SLWP partner, Environmental Foundation Ltd on 10th of June at the Sri Lanka Foundation.  Forty one persons from financial institutions and  the media participated in this activity. Four presentations  were by Mr Jagath Gunewardena, Dr C. Wickramanayake, Mr Madura de Silva and Ms Kusum Athukorala. The speakers present highlighted the need to improve standard of environmental investigations and base line surveys so that projects do not encounter community hostility after startup of projects. The bankers deplored that they were dependent on the regulator to carry out assessments. Most present emphasized the need to review the current application process and include a community consultation component.

 World Environment Day Celebration by Upper Mahaweli Area Water Partnership

The Upper Mahaweli Area Water Partnership celebrated World Environment Day 2016, by conducting a sensitization program along the banks of the Nanu Oya and a discussion on a one year river protection program for Nanuoya at the Pilimatalawe Fair Ground on June 1st. This activity was attended by over 50 members of the clergy, local politicians, staff of the Kadugannawa Urban Council, Pilimatalawe Bazaar committee and the SLWP member organisation the Lions Club of Pilimatalawe.  A one year program for conservation of the Nanu Oya was drawn up and the participants planted trees along the river. Trees were numbered and each participant was given responsibility for maintaining one tree.

Validation Workshop Global Environment Facility/Small Grants Programme (GEF/SGP) Operational Phase 6

SLWP Chair participated in the above programme on 19th May Taj Samudra Hotel, Colombo.

Chair SLWP represented GWPO and SLWP at International Roundtable on “Partnering with the Private Sector for Sustainable Financing from Source-to-Sea and beyond” held from 14th & 15th May 2016 at JetWing Blue Hotel, Negombo, Sri Lanka. The round table forum was organised by GWP-Mediterranean, UNDP, IW (Learn), GEF and CEO Water Mandate. SLWP invited three private sector partners (NDB, Brandix and SL Biodiversity flat form) with whom many joint programs were conducted, to take part in the round table conference and share the experience in carrying out these projects. Being a leading CWP conducting collaborative projects successfully with Private sector, SLWP could share its’ experience in working with private sector, to formulate strategies for the round table organizers in securing private sector commitment. RC member Ms. Kusum Atukorale too participated on the second day of the conference and shared the experience of working with private sector.

Chair SLWP participated in the IWC8 International Conference held from 12th -13th May at Jet Wing Blue in Negombo and Taj Samudra Hotel Colombo. RC member Ms. Kusum Atukorale also participated in selected sessions and contributed to the group discussions. This conference was also attended by SLWP Partners Brandix and Chamber Of Commerce

SLWP Programme Committee Meeting was held on 6th May at SLWP.

SLWP – CDE Alternate River Sand Programme

Awareness workshop on “Alternatives for River sand” jointly organized by CIDA and SLWP was held on 3rd May 2016 at CIDA auditorium. This is the fourth forum organized under the proposed series of consultative and awareness workshops and brainstorming sessions planned to promote alternatives to river sand. There were more than 40 participants attended comprising with Assessors of Tertiary Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) & Instructors of Vocational Training Centre (VTA), NAITA, technical colleges and staff from CIDA. Eng. S Amarasekara welcoming the participants emphasized for early concrete action for introducing alternative for river sand. Ms. Badra Kamaladasa briefed the involvement of SLWP in river conservation programs for last 12 years and the target of the organization through the joint programs with regulatory authorities. Dr Missaka Hettiarachchi made a presentation on “Environmental and social impacts due to unregulated river sand mining”. Prof. S M A Nanayakkara presented briefly on alternatives to river sand in construction industry and the technical issues involved. Mr. Shanaka Kumaranatunga of CDE (the cosponsor of the program) made a presentation on M- sand and the steps taken by Indian government to introduce alternatives for river sand. A demonstration of constructing a block wall and plastering same was performed by an ICC team. Group discussions were held after lunch focusing target questions given to the groups. The groups presented their recommendations/ views on introducing alternatives for sand.  Moderator of the group work Prof Nanayakkara finally summarized the discussion and noted the next course of action. Ms. Malkanthi of TVEA and Mr Wimalasiri of NAITA addressing the audience emphasized the urgent need of taking this message to the general public and the industry as early as possible. Both of them explained how their institution and staff will commit in curtailing usage of river sand in construction industry by introducing alternatives.

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28th April Planning Meeting with CDE and CIDA for Alternate River Sand Programme was held at CIDA for state agencies such as the Colombo Municipality, CEA and potential alternate sand investors. Country Coordinator participated in this discussion. CDE Asia has agreed to jointly sponsor a SLWP publication on river sand environment issues and support a workshop for technical staff in the construction industry.

Chair, SLWP participated in Climate Services User Forum for the Water Sector – A Joint Event by Global Water Partnership South Asia (GWP SAS) and WMO on 26th April at Hilton Residencies, Colombo Sri Lanka.

27th April Presentation for Major Contractors at Taj Samudra, Colombo. This was organized by CIDA and CDE Asia to promote use of river sand alternatives. Chair SLWP attended this event as it is joint collaborator with CIDA on alternate sand for construction industry.

Exposure visit for Mini hydro affected persons from Dellewa to Eratna – Earth Day activity

As a part of the mini hydro stakeholder activity started up in collaboration with EFL during which there was a request to facilitate community awareness of implications of mini-hydro development mechanisms for activists of Dellewa through a visit to the three mini -hydros currently functioning in Eratna on 20th April 2016. The program was intended to create solidarity among communities by flagging the community and environmental issues related to mini-hydro development in ecologically sensitive catchments. 70   participants from Dellewa including Community representatives from Eratna, media and SLWP came together for this activity bringing together a broad cross section of communities whose water security has been affected by mini-hydros.

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SLWP Programme Committee Meeting (am) and a Steering Committee Meeting (pm) was held on 8th April at IWMI.

SLWP – EFL Programme“ A Dialogue on Policy Implications and Community Concerns Resulting from the Approval Process of Mini Hydro Power Plants”.

A  Dialogue on the above organized by the Environmental Foundation Ltd and SLWP was held on 31st March at the Yellow River Auditorium at IWMI. 75 participants included representatives of CBO/NGO, Banks, Developers, Universities, CEA, ID and other stakeholders having interest in issues related to mini hydro projects in Sri Lanka.  Case studies on 3 mini hydro projects/proposals currently on stream were discussed as were the many environmental and social consequences  arising from their establishment. Need for policy recasting in the face of many issues arising due to poor policy implementation and policy  gaps were highlighted. The organizers were congratulated for providing platform for the first time where the varied interests could come together to discuss and examine issues and it was recommended that such forums be organized regularly.

Discussion with Central Environmental Authority on SLWP / Bio Diversity Programme on Wetlands, Bolgoda.

Chair, SLWP and Country Coordinator held discussion on 30th March at the CEA with Director (position) and staff on implementation and collaboration with CEA on the Bolgoda initiative of SLWP and Bio-Diversity being Co-funded by Sampath Bank. Representative of Bio-Diversity also participated in this discussion. It was agreed that regular meetings at every quarter will be held with CEA to discuss progress and any related issues.

School Awareness Programme and “shramadana” at Kadugannawa

For international World Forest Day and the World Water Day, SLWP partner, Lions Club Pilimathalawa organized a series of campaigns which were carried out in the area of Kadugannawa to raise awareness within the young community on water and forest conservation.

The first campaign was held at the “Alanduwaka Madduma Bandara” Junior School. After a short introduction by the school principal and the president of the Lions Club, Ms. Samudu, a graduate from University of Peradeniya,  explained to the children why it is essential to conserve water. A brief Q and A session was held. The students were explained the importance of the water quality and how to preserve water sources. Later they planted trees in the school area explainign the children of the importance of trees for securing water sources.

Secondly an environment clean-up campaign was oraganized and a 1.5 km long section along the Colombo-Kandy-Highway starting at the Kadugannawa Old Rock Tunnel to the town-centre of Kadugannawa was selected for this activity. For this campaign a students from the Vocational Training Authority of Sri Lanka also joined in. The task was to clean up at the side of the road as well as distributing  flyers to passers-by. It was important to clean this area as this is a catchment area of the Maha Oya  and unfortunately along the highway a lot of garbage is dumped which also caused pollution for the river Maha Oya. Hand outs were disseminated among the people to make them  aware of the proper disposal of  garbage and the effect of improper disposal on the catchment areas and the quality of water.

4 foreign interns from France, Greece, Germany and Czechoslovakia attached to SLWP from student exchange programme with the University of Kelaniya and assigned to SLWP for one month for orientation and training also participated in the above event.

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World Water Day Programmes (WWD) by Ma Oya AWP

Two awareness programmes were oraganized by the Ma Oya AWP in collaboration with SLWP on 22nd and 23rd March to commemorate WWD. On 22nd an awareness programme was carried out for the villagers in Mawanella on the importance of Bo Ella stream and how to keep it clean. A shramdana was taken place to clean Bo Ella by removing polythene and plastic bottles disposed by the villagers.

On 23rd March a school awareness programme was held at the Ambulugala Maha Vidyalaya. The students were presented with handouts on the importance of the water quality and how to conserve water sources. After a brief introduction and a presentation students participated in an essay competition under the topic “Conserving Water Sources” . The winners of the programme will be presented with certificates and gifts on the next programme scheduled for April. 60 students participated the programme.

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Special World Water Day Programmes

  • In celebration of World Water Day (WWD) IWMI-HQ organized a World Water Day dialogue on March 23 titled “Water, jobs and prosperity in Sri Lanka: Partnerships for sustainability”. Rauff Hakeem, Minister of City Planning and Water Supply, was the guest of honor at the discussion. Scientists, policy makers and civil society organizations, together with representatives from some of Sri Lanka’s biggest companies, gathered for a lively dialogue on the future of the island’s water.Chair/SLWP was invited to represent the civil society in the panel discussion after the three main presentations by Peter McCornick of IWMI on “Water and the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs)”, Dr. Tanuja Ariyananda, CEO, Lanka Rainwater Harvesting Forum on “Benefits that could be derived from improved collection of rainwater in the island” and Dr. Ananda Mallawatantri, Country Representative, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), who highlighted the growing threat from water pollution and proposed new strategies for tackling the problem.
  • SLWP Chair attended symposium on “Research and Development” organized by National Water Supply and Drainage Board” to commemorate WWD and held at BMICH on 18th This is the second annual symposium organized by the Research and Development Section of NWS&DB. The Key Note speaker at the plenary session was Dr Kala Vairawamoorthy of IWMI. Three parallel technical session were held after the plenary sessions where nearly 30 research papers were presented. It was a very productive day, as representatives of foreign missions, private sector organizations, government organizations and NGO got together along with the academics from the universities participated actively contributing the discussions after the presentations.

SLWP Progrmme Committee Meeting held on 11th Steering Committee Meeting scheduled for 8th April at IWMI.

“Wetworking” – Conserving Bolgoda Wetlands

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 29th February at IWMI Yellow River Auditorium. The participants, following interactive discussions, came up with  practical suggestions to protect Bolgoda wetland. Total of 48 participated the programme.

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SLWP Progrmme Committee Meeting held on 12th February at SLWP.

 World Wetlands Day National Celebrations

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. The final competition for artists was held at Bolgoda Lake Moratuwa on 7th January and awardees selected with 130 students and 15 artists under the open category participating. SLWP with Hatton National Bank are two of main collaborators of this national event organized by CEA and WLD. Mr Ranjith Ratnayake Country Coordinator was present at this event and invited on stage with the H.E. and other Ministers and dignitaries present.

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 Meeting with Unilever Pure-it on Feb 1st

SLWP met with Unilever Representatives to identify activities for sponsorship. It was agreed that SLWP will do a series of articles on potable water (5) and also arrange for a representative to discuss water issues on Nugasevana the TV programme being sponsored by them. These articles are to lead up to WWD. Unilever was also interested in supporting water/hygiene related school activities in SP, CP and NCP.

 Awareness and Action Plan Development workshop for TVAC/VTA Assessors and Instructors

SLWP held its 3rd collaborative activity with CIDA  on River sand alternatives on 29th January this time focusing on Vocational Training School trainers and assessors. The programme with 35 participants from the Western Province was extremely well received. Resource persons were Prof  SMA Nanayakkara   fron the University of Moratuwa and Dr Missaka Hettiarachchi from the  Wild Life Fund. A practical demonstration on use of alternatives for masonry and plastering was conducted by the International Construction Consortium ( ICC) a large construction consortium in the country.

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SLWP Progrmme Committee Meeting held on 18th January at SLWP.

 World Wetlands Day Art Competition 

World Wetland Day National Celebrations organized by the Central Environment Authority (CEA) and Wild Life Department (WLD) will be held on 2nd February at Puttalam under the Patronage of HE the President. A main feature is the award of Prizes by the HE to the best artists (Schools and Open) from the national art competition held in schools island wide. The final competition for artists was held at Bolgoda Lake Moratuwa on 7th January  and awardees selected with 130 students and 15 artists under the open category participating. SLWP with Hatton National Bank are the main collaborators of this national event organized by CEA and WLD.

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