Contamination in Lankan waters over the years: Environmentalist calls for vigilance

Contamination in Lankan waters over the years: Environmentalist calls for vigilance

By Staff Writer

18 Jan, 2016 | 10:47 pm

Several recent incidents bear testament to the fact that the nation’s water sources are being contaminated.

In 2013, the people of Rathupaswala in Gampaha were facing a water crisis as a result of chemical pollutants from a factory contaminating water sources. Demonstrations demanding clean water ended with several lives being lost. The factory was later removed from the area.

On April 24, 2014, an oil spill was reported on the Rakwana River after a fuel bowser met with an accident.

Waters of the Hatton Oya were rendered unusable Sept. 19 every year as rotten milk from an adjacent estate is released into the river.

On Sept. 28, 2015, several residents along the banks of the Walawe River were inconvenienced as a result of pollutants released from the Sevanagala Sugar factory.

It was reported at the beginning of 2015 that oil had mixed with several water sources in Chunnakam and surrounding areas in Jaffna. Water of the Keselgamu Oya, a tributary of the Castlereigh Reservoir, was contaminated by fossil fuel.

On Aug. 17, 2015, pollution of the Kelani River lead to water supply disruptions in Colombo, Dehiwela, Mount Lavinia, Maharagama, Boralesgamuwa and surrounding areas.

Environmentalist Jayantha Wijeysinghe stated that the competent authorities should take strict measures to prevent water pollution sources of the innocent people. He added that it is pointless to take steps after the problem arises. He called for constant vigilance to ensure the entities granting permits and licenses are adhering to environmental policies.