The ticking time bomb in Gohagoda

The ticking time bomb in Gohagoda

The ticking time bomb in Gohagoda

Written by Staff Writer

27 Jul, 2018 | 8:28 pm

Colombo (News1st) : Environmentalists warn that the Gohagoda garbage dump could become the site of another tragedy, far worse than the one which occurred in Meetotamulla. News1st reported on the Gohagoda garbage dump on a number of occasions in the aftermath of the Meetotamulla tragedy. However, the dump site increases with each passing day.

The garbage dump which is located just 50 meters away from the Mahaweli river, which is a drinking water source for many, has given rise to many environmental issues. The garbage dump has been in operation for 30 years and is now over 200m in height. Solid waste from gullies and toilets are also dumped at this garbage site.

Water sources around the area have started to dry up due to the effects of the garbage dump. Earlier 21 families were removed from the area due to a possible threat of a section of the mountain collapsing.

A compost producing unit was set up adjacent to the garbage mountain with the aim of minimize the amount of garbage however, the unit is not functioning at present.

Convenor of the Central Province Environmental Collective, Amith Senanayake speaking to News1st stated that the Kandy Municipal Council continues to dump garbage at the site in clear violation of laws which state that dumping garbage this close to the Mahaweli river is prohibited. He warned that if the practice continues, the area will suffer a tragedy worse that suffered by Mettoamulla.

Mayor of Kandy Kesara Senanayake speaking to News1st stated that the Kandy MC will need the support of the central Government to resolve an issue of this magnitude. He, however, assured us that they are taking steps to avoid a tragedy.

Senior Professor Athula Senaratne of the Peradeniya University’s Geology department noted that they observed Methane gas emissions from the dump site recently and investigated the risks of landslides. The professor noted that both he and the University are saddened by the response of the relevant authorities to their findings.


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