School Programme on Climate Change – Walala Ratnayake Central College

A Climate Change awareness programme was held at the above school on 26th September. The Programme was started with a welcome speech by the principal. Then Mr. Niyangoda from Sri Lanka Water Partnership described the roll of SLWP in water security and climate change awareness among the school children. He also mentioned the importance of school children having the knowledge on climate change and school sanitation as they are the future citizens of the country. A senior sociologist from the National Water Supply and Drainage Board and an Epidemiologist from the health department described the various aspects of the water, sanitation and water borne diseases, school sanitation and other health tips. Total of 175 student and 3 teachers participated the programme.

HARTI Meeting – Communicating Climate Change (2nd Phase)

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 21st September 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. HARTI will give details of programs, photos and numbers of participants at the end of the activity.

New Technology Options Programme (Demonstration Projects) – Mahailluppallama

A follow up programme to the one held at RRDI Bathalagoda for staff of ID and DAS was held on September 2nd  at FCRDI Mahaillupapallama. 41 Participants from NCP and NWP attended this programme which focused on tech options and practices  for OFC cultivation to cope with CC. SLWP will be moving from awareness creation and advocacy under WACREP to technical support for CCA in the future.

Publications – New Technology

Rainwater Harvesting. The 3rd technical booklet under WACREP focusing on RWH for agriculture was developed with assistance from the Fiend Crop Research Institute  of the Dept of Agriculture at Aangunakolapellessa. Editing is in progress and printing will be undertaken shortly

CBO Programme in Uva Paranagama

An awareness program was held on 4th August 2016 on Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) for Community Based Organization officers Uva Paranagama Badulla. This is a continuing activity in CCA. All the areas in Badulla district other than Uva Parangama had been covered by the WACREP activity other than Uva Paranagama division.

The program was attended by 91 CBO 100 CB0 officers and related agency staff and was held at the Divisional Security office, Uva Paranagama  . The Collaborators and Resource Persons were drawn from the   NWS&DB, RDHS Uva Province, SLWP, Dept. of Community Water and Dept. of Forestry.

 Objective of Proposed Activity was to build awareness on CCA in CBOs, improve IWRM centric awareness on CCA and water security in CBOs and related officers and create platform for creating awareness and mobilizing communities on impact of climate change and adaptation strategies on enhancing water security. This area is selected for a World Bank project but only a few selected stronger CBOs will be selected for rehabilitation. Nonetheless this area suffers severely from landslides, droughts and deforestation which impairs water security.  There are also many issues related to the ongoing Uma Oya project.

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CCA Programme for Development Officers in Kandy

An Awareness Programme on Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and Disaster Risk Reduction for Development Assistants of District Secretariat Yatinuwara Kandy  was  held on 3rd August   2016 at the Divisional Secretary office Pilimatalawe .  This activity was initiated on the request of the Divisional Secretary Yatinuwara and was held in the  Divisional Secretary Office Pilimatalwe  . It is part of the continuing Programme  in UMAWP on  CCA. The collaborators were the NWS&DB Central Province  ,  RDHS Central   Province  and  Dept. of Agriculture . 70 Development assistants and 4 resource persons too part in this activity.  The Lions Club of Pilimatalawe   linked  with DS office for communications in planning phase and will monitor  follow up

Young Water Professionals Training Programme – Bandarawela

The YWP circle of Uva Province was launched on the 4th August at Rendezvous Hotel Bandarawela. The launch was organised by Mr Chatura Sajeewa , Youth Focal point for SLWP. The IESL Uva chapter head who joined the SLWP in supporting this launch said that it was a very timely and welcome activity  which would be supported by senior professionals. Mr Ruwan Liyanage DGM NWSDB presented the challenges faced by the water sector due to climate change. SLWP Snr Advisor Ms. Kusum Athukorala made a presentation on SLWP work so far, emphasized the need for capacity building for YWPs and perceived expectations for the YWPs.

The 19 YWPs were present then carried out a group work exercise and presented the following suggestions for their future activity. Sanitation Problems in the plantation sector was seen as a priority. Sewage enters to the water sources and its impacts on community health. Therefore building toilets for affected people and providing potable water supply were seen as priority actions.  The YWPs decided to carry out some awareness programmes to alleviate sanitation problem area in the plantation sectors.

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Awareness Programme on CCA for Field Staff in Kalutara District

The second programme in  the wet zone on CCA for staff in the agriculture sector was held in Ratnapura, at the “Cooperative Training Centre, Kalutara-North” on 5th August 2016. 38 participants from department of Irrigation, Agrarian Development and Agriculture participated the programme. Issues related to specific agro ecological zones of Kalutara and special agronomic practices of the wet zone were discussed in this programme which included four presentations including one by a Professor from the University of Sabaragamuwa and another by the Director of the Department of Meteorology. A programme evaluation carried indicated that over 84% of the participant has ranked the programme as important.  Over 65% of the participants were women.

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Publication s – New Technology

The second technical booklet on New Technology Options and best practices – “Cultivation of other field crops (OFC) to cope with Climate Change” was printed. This document was developed with the assistance of the Field Crop Research and Development Institute of Mahailluppallama.  A similar publication on “Rain Water Harvesting for Agriculture” developed with the Field Crop Research and Development Institute in Angunakolapelessa will be published in August.

Awareness Programme on CCA for Field Staff in Ratnapura District

The first programme in wet zone on CCA for staff in the agriculture sector in Ratnapura was held at the “Samudu – Cooperative Hotel on 28th July 2016. 39 participants from department of Irrigation, Agrarian Development and Agriculture participated the programme. Issues related to specific agro ecological zones of Ratnapura and special agronomic practices of the wet zone were discussed in this programme which included four presentations including one by a Professor from the University of Sabaragamuwa and another by the Director of the Department of Meteorology. A programme evaluation carried indicated that over 84% of the participant has ranked the programme as important.  Over 80% of the participants were women.

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Sisu Jala Hamuwa Programme at Bingiriya

A school water program – Sisu JalaHamuwa  on CCA was held at Vijaya Central College Weerapokuna  Bingiriya on 30th June. This activity was organized by Mr Laksitha Sudasinghe, Secretary of the Deduru Oya Area Water Partnership who is also the Bingiriya Education zone Environment Coordinator. The program involved 160 school children. Mr Sarath Premalal and Ms. Geethanie Ahangama of the Dept. of Meteorology and HARTI respectively conducted sessions on Climate change and Climate related impacts on agriculture. Ms. Kusum Athukorala conducted a session based on the SLWP video on climate change and conducted a interactive focus group on climate change and future  involvement of  youth in agriculture. The children produced their group perceptions which were then presented to the group. Mr. Sudasinghe was also tasked with conducting an essay competition for the participants based on the material presented in the program. The best three essays will receive a prize of Rs. 3000/-Rs. 2000/- and Rs. 1000/- respectively from SLWP.

Awareness Programme on Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) for Farmer Leaders of Medium and Minor Irrigation Schemes in Kurunegala District. 24th May 2016

While SLWP has held a majority of CCA programmes for agency staff and Farmer leaders of major and some medium schemes under the Irrigation Department (ID) since 2013, this programme held on 24th May 2016 at the Wayamba Training Institute   Wariapola was significant in that Farmer Leaders of Minor Irrigation Systems under the Department of Agrarian Development (DAD) were included for the first time. Minor schemes are significantly more vulnerable to climate change impacts and SLWP hopes to shift emphasis to medium and minor schemes in implementing its CCA programmes in 2016 and 2017 as it is clear that greater capacity building efforts and support are needed for these systems. This programme was a sequel to the agency staff CCA programmes for ID and DAD that were held at the Bathalagoda Rice Research and Development Institute on 9th May 2016 and 31st August 2015.

Notwithstanding the disaster situation with respect to flooding and landslides in Sri Lanka including in the Kurunegala District and heavy floods especially in the lower reaches of the Deduru oya and also the heavy rain prevailing, over 60 FO Leaders and a further 8 Development Officers (4 from ID and 4 from DAD) in charge of the FO development activities in these systems attended the programme. Total participation was 75 including the resource persons. The Director of Irrigation served as Resource Person and Irrigation Engineer Wariapola participated in the programme. Other Resource persons included a Consultant Irrigation Agronomist, Senior Lecturer of Rajarata University and a Deputy Director of Agriculture.

The interest and demand was so intense that SLWP agreed to hold a follow up programme for FO leaders in other systems in NWP in 2016. SLWP Knowledge products including a booklet on CCA for Farmers and a recent publication on Paddy Cultivation under CC conditions developed in collaboration with the Bathalagoda Rice Research Institute was distributed among the FO Leaders.

Workshop on Agronomic Practices in Paddy Cultivation to Cope with Climate Change

A programme on the above for technical officers of the Irrigation Department (ID) and Department of Agrarian Development (DAD) working with farmers in medium and minor irrigation systems was held at the Rice Research and Development Institute (RRDI) Bathalagoda on 9th May 2016. 32 officers of the ID from NWP and NCP with 4 engineers from the ID head office attended the above programme along with 8 officers including a District Engineer of DAD from Kurunegala and Puttalama District. Regional Director   Irrigation based in Kurunegala also attended the sessions. Total participation was 40.

This programme is a follow up activity to the general Climate Change Adaptation Programme of the Sri Lanka Water Partnership (SLWP) and aims at capacity building of such staff to cope with climate change issues impacting on irrigated agriculture especially with Paddy and Other Field Crops. The session at RRDI focused on paddy cultivation   and especially on farm water management as these officers were already familiar with system management. Issues of water supply, demand and management during land preparation, growth and reproductions phases of paddy cultivation. Issues of crop and soil management including salinity and iron toxicity were discussed and options recommended. Information on use of newer short age paddy varieties to better cope with floods, droughts, salinity and iron toxicity was provided. A guideline prepared by SLWP with assistance of RRDI on paddy cultivation in the context of climate change was also provided to the participants. A field demonstration was part of the overall programme.

Communicating Climate Change (WACREP media activity)

SLWP has developed a video documentary tool on climate change named” Thinking of Water when the well runs dry?” This has been distributed through agency partners but not yet been used extensively at community level. In a continuation of activity using WACREP climate change video, the use of the WACREP video will be expanded with communication strategies identified by experts for awareness building on climate for related community groups/agency staff. Therefore it is intended to conduct a training workshop in HARTI in June 2016 to introduce the video to the SLWP partners who are likely to make use of it as well as a broader cross section of agencies to gain profile for the SLWP climate change activities.  It is hoped to highlight the water issues and promote IWRM through a multi stakeholder program supporting SLWP partners in building awareness in climate change using video as tool. This is a collaborative activity with HARTI.

A Planning meeting of the Communicating Climate change – Awareness Program for Trainers for SLWP Partner Organisations- was held at International Water Management Institute on May 06 2016. This planning meeting was with an initial exploration of the substance, format and communicative strategies to be used optimally when using this video as a teaching tool on climate change. The focus of the video is irrigated agriculture but in keeping with SLWP’s IWRM principles, other sector specialists too (agriculture, forestry, media) were invited as SLWP sees it is important to break through the silo mentality in development communication. Based on the input of experts the final meeting will be held in HARTI in June.

New Publications

A new publication on Irrigated Paddy Cultivation in the Context Climate Change prepared under the guidance of the Batalagoda Rice Research and Development Institute (RRDI) to be used for training purposes of agency staff has been printed. A similar guideline on OFC cultivation is being prepared with assistance of FCRDI Maha Illupallama will be published shortly.

WACREP CBO Programme – Katugastota

The CBO awareness program was held as a one day workshop on 30th March at National Water Supply and Drainage Board Auditorium, Gohadoda. The workshop was organized collaboratively by Sri Lanka Water Partnership, National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) and the National Community Water Trust, Office bearers of CBOs, NWSDB officers and resource persons from the Dept. of Health Central Province  participated in the program.  Total participation of 80 included 70 CBO representatives.

The program was inaugurated after lighting the traditional oil lamp. Mr. T.D.L.S. Jayasena, senior engineer-rural water supply, welcomed invited guests, resource persons and all the participants and he explained the importance of the workshop on climate change adaptation and recollected the disasters related to climate change which the area has been experiencing and emphasized that all CBOs need to be proactive in identifying suitable adopting adaptive actions .The  negative impacts of climate change are already been felt in this region and unless action is taken it will also be felt in the lower riparian. He mentioned that this program was funded by GWP and in view of the lack of community mobilization programs for CBOs, the WACREP program is a great help in strengthening CBO awareness.

Presentations and Discussions at the workshop centered on Impact Climate Change on rural livelihoods, water quality, catchment and source area conservation, impact of agro chemicals and institutional issues related to conservation of catchments.

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Workshop on Agronomic Practices in Other Food Crops Cultivation to Cope with Climate Change

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.  This programme was part of SLWP World Water Day Programme and was implemented as a SLWP and Cap Net Lanka joint activity.  The Programme included two specialist presentations on Climate Change Impacts on Farming and Rural Livelihoods and on Cropping Options/ Practices for Dry Zone Agriculture to Cope with Climate Change. The practical session included a visit to the School of Agriculture Angunakolapellessa where the participants were introduced to the extensive rain water harvesting techniques being practiced both for perennial and annual crops and drip irrigation systems operating on solar power.  A visit to the Mahaveli Authority Uda Walawe Project followed where a newly developed “On Demand” Irrigation System had been installed and was one of 5 such systems presently in operation in Uda Walawe. The participants were introduced to the technical and institutional issues that had arisen in system operations.

World Water Day School Programme by Nilwala Area Water Partnership

Sri Lanka Water Partnership and the Undergraduates of the GREEN TECHNOLOGY course in Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna, organized the “SISU JALA HAMUWA” program for the world water day, 2016 on 18th March. 10 Schools from Walasmulla/ Weraketiya  educational zone participated the programme. There was an essay competition and 3 students selected from each category.

Programme was stated with the lighting of the traditional oil lamp by Dean, Faculty of Agriculture and during the programme a presentation and a video was presented on water. Then there was a short question round. Then a poster creation was held with the topic of “Water Waste in School and Methods to Prevent”. After a discussion session the prize giving was held.  Total of 90 participated the programme including 54 students and teachers, academic staff and undergraduates from the university.

School Awareness Programme – Gonadika Maha Vidyalaya

An awareness programme was held on climate change for school children at the Gonadika Sinhala and Tamil Maha Vidyalaya  in Bambaragaha in the Denuwara education zone on 4th March in collaboration with the Lions Club Pilimatalawa, Network of Women Water Professionals (NetWwater)  and the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB).

The Gonadika school is facing many problems including a proper water supply, clean toilets and enough teachers. The parents of the students are laborers and lack time to concentrate on their children’s education. The programme explained the importance on building awareness among communities on climate change adaptation.  Resource persons from NWSDB and Lions Club of Pilimathalwa took part in the event. Students were requested to participate in an art competition and draw based on the lecture they have given. With the help of the staff the Zonal deputy director and a career guidance office from the Denuwara educational zone held a campaign to develop the attitudes of the students on conserving water resources and adapting to climate change. Five winners from each section were selected and presented with certificates and gifts. Total of 260 students participated the event.

WACREP PMC Staff Training Programme in Puttalama

As part of the continuing programme on CCA for irrigation sector agency staff and farmers,Project Management Committee (PMC) Members of the two major irrigation projects in the Puttalam District – Inginimitiya and Tabbowa participated in a CCA programme organized by the SLWP with the Irrigation Management Division (IMD) of the Ministry of Irrigation at the District Secretariat Puttalam  on 4th March with the District Secretary Puttalam as Chief Guest. 56 participants representing the 2 PMC from the Depts of Irrigation, IMD, Agriculture, Agrarian Services and the Coconut Cultivation Board attended the programme. Presetaions were by a Consultant Irrigation Agronomist, Deputy Director Dept Of Agriculture and Snr Lecturer from the University of Rajarata.