Toner ink contaminates Ma Oya

Toner ink contaminates Ma Oya

Written by Staff Writer

14 Aug, 2018 | 8:56 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st) – News1st has uncovered details of an operation that pollutes the Ma Oya which sustains the need of many people.

Though measures have been taken by authorities to put up posters creating awareness on protecting the Ma Oya which flows down from the Sindhaanthriya area of the Wennappuwa Divisional Secretariat, the current situation is rather disappointing.

News1st discovered that a racket where locals in the area were being used to wash disposed polythene waste and discarded computer parts in the Ma Oya had been going on for a prolonged period of time. Used toner cartridges which are discarded are brought to this area and the area residents are employed to wash these cartridges in the Ma Oya. This results in the Ma Oya being contaminated with toner ink.

Area residents were unaware that the toner that they were mixing with the river water is harmful to the river and the surrounding ecosystem.

Speaking to News 1st the Director of the North Western Provincial Environment Authority Saman Lenaduwa said the Marine Environment Protection Authority took direct action in this regard and that it has been prohibited. However, Lenaduwa noted that they are finding it difficult to build a case against the perpetrators due to the lack of evidence.

When questioned Wennappuwa Divisional Secretary Sujeewa Fernando stated that she was unaware of such a racket and that she no one had lodged an official complaint. Area residents involved in the operation stated to News1st that the grama niladari officer in the area was aware of the operation. However, when we questioned the divisional secretary as to whether the grama niladari officer had not informed her, she stated that she was not informed.

To her credit, hours after our conversation, Sujeewa Fernando reached out to us and assured that she personally intervened and was able to put a stop to the operation with the intervention of the Marine Environment Protection Authority.

It was a business entity in the Kochchikade area that had used the locals of Sindhaanthriya for this operation. Though it has been stopped, who will be held accountable for the environmental pollution that has been caused?


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