Orientation workshop on Sustainable Wastewater Management, Colombo, Sri Lanka

CSE jointly with Lunawa Environment Improvement and Community Development Programme, Sri Lanka (LEICDP) and UN-Habitat, Sri Lanka organized an orientation workshop on ‘Sustainable Wastewater Management’ at Colombo on 9th December 2011. 

Lunawa Environment Improvement and Community Development Project is implemented under the Ministry of Water Supply and Drainage with the financial assistance of JICA, aiming to mitigate flood damage and to improve the environment by improving urban drainage network. The project was implemented successfully with the overall achievement of 92% of project funds. The environment has improved and the Lunawa Lake has revitalized to its previous glory resulting increasing of land and property values.

Actions have been taken to prevent water bodies from discharging black water by providing project assistance to improve toilets in the watershed. Grey water and the industrial effluent is still remaining as major threats to the improved environment and high BOD and COD levels are reported continuously in canals and in the lake. Separate project is under implementation to arrest industrial pollution, yet discharging of grey water is not considered as important area, by both authorities and people, to be tackled in order to maintain water bodies within accepted levels.

The project was searching for affordable and acceptable solutions for waste water management and CSE has extended its support by giving training on “Decentralized Waste Water Management and Re-use” for eight project personnels in September 2011.

The knowledge support on decentralized wastewater treatment technology offered by the CSE is more suitable, affordable and acceptable in all levels in the Lunawa Project area which needs to be taken to the next level of engagement. Therefore, the project in collaboration with UN-HABITAT requested CSE to give orientation on DWWT to project partners including Municipal engineering staff - said Mr Anura Dassanayake, Project Director, LEICDP.
A half a day orientation session was held on 9th December 2011 in Colombo with the participation of around 50 professionals directly involved in the area of waste water management. The participants included senior Sri Lankan government officials from Municipal Councils, National Water Supply & Drainage Board, National Housing Development Agency, and Central Environment Authority including representative of UN Habitat representatives, NGOs and practitioners working in this area. 

Dr Suresh Rohilla, Programme Director, Urban Water Management at CSE and Professor Vinod Tare from IIT Kanpur were the key speakers in the session and followed by the persuasive CSE film “Clean Your Act”. The orientation workshop was followed with discussion and the next steps.

Feed back of participants was encouraging. According to Ranjith Samarasinghe – Senior Community Development Coordinator - LEICDP, the discussion shows that participated professional has started to think out of the box. It was agreed to continue the dialogue with some practical actions at the ground level.