Business News: Environmental degradation occurs daily in Sri Lanka on a wide and unprecedented scale. Citizens face numerous issues due to environmental pollution with no proper mechanism to bring this to the attention of the relevant authorities. Day to day environmental concerns such as garbage dumping, dengue breeding hot spots, broken sewage lines, blocked canals, broken roads and blown street lamps, are issues faced by Sri Lankan citizens on a daily basis.
In most instances these issues are not reported to the relevant authority since the process is time consuming or they do not know how or where to report such issues. This communication gap results in delays in solving the issues or no solution at all.
The Bank’s Volunteer Team comprising of the Legal, Retail Credit, Risk, Credit Review and Recoveries Departments identified this issue and partnered with the Kotte Municipal Council and the Biyagama Pradeshiya Sabha to provide a Digital Solution to the citizens in these areas, through the revolutionary ‘ManKiwwa’ Mobile App.
The ‘ManKiwwa’ Mobile App is a ‘free to use’ App which is a ‘location based incident reporting system’ which the public can use to report environmental issues such as illegal garbage dumps, blocked canals, dengue hotspots, broken roads, blown street lamps, fallen trees, broken sewages etc. The App can also be used to report personal emergencies and general incidents. The App was developed by Shohan Kulasuriya, the Group Director of Kubeira IT Park (Pvt) Ltd, who has won many awards for his innovative creation.
Over 130 NDB volunteers carried out several door to door awareness campaigns in the Kotte and Biyagama areas together with the Municipal Council staff raising awareness about the App, assisting citizens to download the App, instructing them on how to use the App and raising awareness on environmental conservation. The citizens were receptive to this digital solution which will enable them to report issues to the relevant authorities whilst remaining anonymous. Many citizens informed the volunteers that they faced many environmental issues on a day to day basis and had no means of reporting these promptly.
The App whilst promptly notifying the relevant authorities also has a tracking device and a dashboard where the complaints and progress of action taken can be tracked by the authorities. The App is available in all 03 languages and can be downloaded free via ‘Google Play Store’ or ‘App Store’. The users can capture an image or a video using the App and report the issue to the relevant authority/emergency service anonymously (unless they want to identify themselves).