In our projects to assist the displaced victims of war in Sri Lanka, we have found a way to help heal environmental wounds as well. As part of our contribution to preserve nature and protect the environment we are planning to renovate and rebuild two reservoirs that have been damaged and destroyed due to war.
These reservoirs used to be the life line of the local farmers who totally depend on this water source for human consumption as well as agriculture use. A large number of animals and wildlife also depend on these reservoirs year round. Our efforts in rebuilding the critical water source will aid in environmental efforts and at the same time help the people to resettle and farm the land.
(Thisarana Weva), Triple Gem Reservoir
The first project is in Kantale, in the north central province of Sri Lanka. Since we, as Triple Gem Society, introduced the project and presented the proposal to renovate, the officials have entered the name Thisarana weva which means Triple Gem Reservoir in the official books. So this is truly an official Triple Gem Society project!
Although this lake has not been damaged by war, it has been destroyed through neglect and abandonment. When the renovation is complete, the reservoir will store water in an approx. 400 acre area and will provide water to 1,200 acres of farmland. The water access will support farming for several hundred families as well as restore a local wild life habitation.
On my last visit I had a meeting with the irrigation engineers working on the project. We have already funded the initial stage of the project, which involves the clearing of a 4 kilometer road stretching from the nearest main road up to the original reservoir’s location. Since this site has been abandoned for a long time and was so badly damaged, the first time I visited the site I had to travel by tractor. Since the road has now been cleared, this time I was able to travel by 4 wheel drive. The trip was definitely easier!
Currently the engineers are conducting a land survey. Very soon the design and final report will be presented to the Central Engineering Construction Bureau (CECB). I have already discussed the matter with the General Manager of the CECB, Mr. Patmasiri, and am looking forward to working with him on this project.
The Second Reservoir
The second reservoir project is located in the Vavnia district of the Northern Province. This reservoir, known as Mahakacchikudi weva, was used to support hundreds of families through agriculture. Now that people are finally returning to their village after 20 years away, major repairs are needed. The dam has being damaged and two of the sluice gates need to be rebuilt. We are in discussions with a contractor to quickly finish the two sluice gates before the rainy season begins. In the second stage of the project, we expect to do the large majority of the work. I have had discussions and received advice from the farmers and local officials about the most appropriate timing, methods and the available contractors. At the moment we are waiting for a contractor estimate. The military has volunteered to supervise the project.
Our main financial supporter, Mr. Perera has expressed interest in financing both projects, so we will be presenting him with the proposal very soon. If you know anyone who is interested in supporting such a noble life giving project please kindly help us by introducing them.