In order to protect Sri Lanka’s endangered water resources and environment, Sri Lanka’s Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) launched the ‘Sayura Rakina Ralla’ ‘Protect the Sea’ community-led programme.
Under this umbrella initiative the organisation also launched the ‘Sayura Rakina Ralla’ Facebook page and a theme song to engage and educate the public on proper waste disposal and minimizing the use of non-biodegradable waste, thereby encouraging them to take a proactive approach in restoring the coastlines of Sri Lanka to its former glory.
In order to shed light on the country’s lack of correct waste disposal whilst parallelly encouraging and educating Sri Lankans to ‘clean up their act’, MEPA, which is under the aegis of the State Ministry of Urban Development, Coast Conservation, Waste Disposal and Community Cleanliness, commenced the community-led Corporate Social Responsibility programme ‘Sayura Rakina Ralla’ which was inaugurated by Sri Lanka Rugby and Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, Dialog Axiata PLC, Dialog with a beach clean-up at Sarakkuwa beach in Ja-Ela.
The ‘Sayura Rakina Ralla’ Facebook (FB) page and campaign was also launched at the beach clean-up by State Minister of Urban Development, Coast Conservation, Waste Disposal and Community Cleanliness Dr. Nalaka Godahewa MP, MEPA goodwill ambassadors Bhathiya and Santhush (BnS), Chairperson of the Environment Protection Agency (MEPA) Dharshani Lahandapura and General Manager of MEPA Dr. Terney Pradeep Kumara.
Sri Lanka has ranked poorly according to a global pollution study conducted by the World Bank in 2015, with plastic emerging as the chief culprit. On average, a Sri Lankan produces 500g of non-degradable waste per day resulting in a mammoth amount of 100 million KGs of solid waste added into Sri Lanka’s coastal waters, according to 2017 records. Sri Lanka despite taking pride in its turquoise seas, white sandy beaches, lush virgin forests and extensive lakes and rivers is one of the biggest polluters of non-bio-degradable waste in the world, especially in terms of plastic.
“I hope ‘Sayura Rakina Ralla’ generates the necessary traction that will educate the public to take the much-needed steps to help turn the fate of Sri Lanka’s coastline around so that future generations too can enjoy and savour its beauty,” stated Dr. Nalaka Godahewa MP, State Minister of Urban Development, Coast Conservation, Waste Disposal and Community Cleanliness.
“Being an island nation, with 510,000 square kilometres of sea under its belt as an Exclusive Economic Zone, which is eight times the size of the country’s land mass, it’s critical for Sri Lanka’s economy that we safeguard our primary national asset, our marine resources from pollution and lead the way in sustainable economic growth within the South Asian region.” Dr. Godahewa further added.