Solid waste pollution causing big stink near Knuckles forest


December 2, 2014 – Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka

A massive solid waste dump in the central hills area known as Morahela located in Panwila Pradeshiya Sabha is causing a big stink, eyesore, inconvenience and a health hazard to the residents and people passing through the area. This waste dump overlooks the UNESCO certified Knuckles World Heritage Forest Reserve as well as the beautiful Hunnasgiriya mountains. According to the villagers, garbage from the Panwila town are dumped there the tractors belonging to Panwila Pradeshiya Sabha. Over the years, the garbage dump has become massive, unsustainable and severely damaging the natural beauty of the central hills. When interviewed by volunteers of Rainforest Protectors, people living in the vicinity complained about the bad stench especially during the dry season as well as houseflies coming out from this dump. They also pointed out that domesticated dogs and cats as well as wild animals such as monkeys and wild boar also eat this garbage, creating a health hazard for both animals and humans.

While a small hut has been set up to collect recyclable materials, the site is not suitable for solid waste management. Neither does it have any modern infrastructure for managing the solid waste. Some countries have developed the infrastructure to turn solid waste into Electricity and Bio-Gas. But unfortunately, Sri Lanka has not pursued this option and continues to let Solid Waste become a major issue on our Island nation. Pushing the garbage over the mountain cliff is not sustainable and it also destroys the natural beauty of our motherland. Due to the extreme sensitivity of the Environment in the area, we urge the respective authorities, including the Panwila Pradeshiya Sabha, Panwila Divisional Secretary, Public Health Inspectors (PHI), Ministry of Environment and Central Environmental Authority (CEA) to jointly work together to find an alternative and less destructive site for the solid waste disposal and develop along -term plan to sustainably manage the solid waste issue of the area.

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