The Hambantota sea and the coastline have been very badly polluted due to the diverting of a major drain carrying waste from houses and roads from Murray Road near Hambantota town into the sea. This has been going on for a long time, area residents say, adding that the effluence from a slaughterhouse located nearby too, is being directed into the sea.
Due to the collection of waste in the coastline as a result, crows and dogs are a common sight in the area. It is unfortunate that no one has paid attention to clean up the polluted coastal area. It should be investigated as to how the PHIs failed to notice it during their regular inspections at the slaughterhouse.
This pollution is a grave threat to the beach, sea as well as sea creatures. There are the Coast Conservation and Coastal Resources Management Departments as well as many other state agencies tasked with marine environment protection, but they too, have turned a blind eye to this situation.
According to the marine pollution prevention act no. 35 of 2008, dumping waste into the sea is banned. If any contaminated water is diverted into the sea, that should be done after purifying the water, and that too, that under license only.
Delay in law enforcement
The Coast Conservation and Coastal Resources Management Departments and the Marine Environment Protection Authority launched an investigation on 05 March 2017 into the dumping of waste by a four-star hotel located near the beach at Kahandamodera in Tangalle. The investigation is still ongoing. When contacted, southern province assistant manager of the Authority Renuka Ranaweera said a complaint has been lodged with Hungama Police for investigation. A police officer confirmed it and said the report has been sent to the attorney general for advice. While the law is enforced in such a slow pace, the sea and the coastal area are facing ruin due to human activities.
Fifth in dumping waste into the sea
A British magazine survey revealed recently that Sri Lanka is the fifth ranked county for dumping the highest amount of waste into the sea, said head of the Environment and Nature Study Centre Ravindra Kariyawasam. Waste dumped into the sea destroys the polyps that create the coral reefs, he said. Also, the waste reacts with the sun to emit methane which causes asthmas and skin diseases, he added.
Rahul Samantha Hettiarachchi – Hambantota