“Don’t litter, it makes the world bitter” as per this slogan, this Cleaning Project of Negombo Lagoon was successfully wrapped up by the Rotaract Clubs of APITT, Informatics Institute of Technology, Ja Ela – Kandana, Kadawatha, Kelaniya, Negombo, Pamunugama, Pan Colombo, University Alumni, University of Kelaniya, Wattala and Wayamba University under the Together SL project. This project covered the 7th Focus Area of Rotary that is “Environment.” We are committed to supporting activities that strengthen the conservation and protection of natural resources, advance ecological sustainability, and foster harmony between communities and the environment. We empower communities to access grants and other resources, embrace local solutions, and spur innovation in an effort to address the causes and reduce the effects of climate change and environmental degradation.
Talking about the Environment, lagoons are an important fact on our island. The lagoons are water bodies that connect the Sea and the River. Such Negombo Lagoon is a highly tourist-attracted place and also a famous tourist destination. Due to the high number of tourists, the place was polluted with waste materials such as plastic and polythene. Even though there were advertising boards and emphasizing signs to make the tourists aware, their negligence has made a pile of litter around this lagoon.
When the villagers spoke out, they stated that they have high times cleaning these and are not much financially stable to put up dustbins at every place. Therefore, this project was planned in three stages and executed well in those steps. They are:
- Identification of cleaning sides
- Educating locals and raising awareness in the community
- Implementation of a waste management system
Considering the Marine Environment and the Ecosystem, this project was undertaken in a proper way implementing proper waste segregation and even reducing left polythene and plastic waste. So the team decided to keep the colored bins in the area and collect this recyclable waste. Also, the people around the area were informed about these colored bins and their purposes.
This project successfully protected the environment, both marine and terrestrial. If leftover, it could even turn into irreversible destruction for the environment. Communities around Negombo were identified as beneficiaries through this project, while the donors and other volunteers were considered indirect beneficiaries.
To add more success to this project, the budget was collected through fundraising projects and volunteer sponsorships.
With several cleaning hands and the aid of the communities, this project was a great success.
Penned By – The District Regional Engagement Team in collaboration with the Media Unit and the District Editorial Team