The ceremony took place to commemorate the handing over of a 30,000 liter Rain Water Harvesting System to Guruhela Kanishta Maha Vidyala in Moneragala. Elizebeth Davnie Easton, Acting Mission Director for USAID in Sri Lanka, Assistant Divisional Secretary, Siyambalanduwa, Zonal Education Director, Monaragala, NGO secretary, Moneragala and Dr. Tanuja Ariyananda, Chief Executive Officer of LRWHF, LRWHF staff, teachers, students and parents attended the event.
Ms. Easton thanked the LRWHF team for their efforts and stated that “…it is fascinating to know that these rainwater harvesting techniques were used by ancient Sri Lankan Kings, and they are still valuable and being used today. Rainwater harvesting is an important method to access clean water, especially in light of the severe droughts and floods that have affected many parts of Sri Lanka in recent years, including so recently”. She added that “All of us are responsible for conserving and protecting water—including you the children! Water conservation needs to be a way of life. If we all do our part in conserving the world’s water, we can make a positive difference for the environment and for ourselves”, stressing the need for a more environmentally conscious culture in the face of climate change and natural disasters.
The Assistant Divisional Secretary for Siyambalanduwa stated that safe drinking water is a scarce commodity in the region, given that 101 CKDu patients have been reported in Siyambalanduwa alone and thanked USAID for providing clean drinking water for “our children who are as precious as gems”. The Zonal Director of Education also thanked USAID and further iterated that it is the school’s duty to maintain the RWHS and protect all sources of water.
The Rain Water Harvesting System was constructed by Lanka Rain Water Harvesting Forum under the project titled “Safe Disaster – Resilient Drinking Water to Floods and Drought Prone Areas of Sri Lanka” which is funded by USAID.
4 schools and 1 hospital have received a safe drinking water source through Rain Water Harvesting Systems in Moneragala District from the project which started in September 2016. Awareness programs on RWHS have been conducted for the community, school children, teachers and hospital staff members as well as training on operation and maintenance for beneficiaries.
There are 40 households selected in Moneragala District for the construction of RWH Systems in the coming months for the provision of clean and safe drinking water.
By the end of 2019, in Moneragala district alone, 120 households, 15 schools and 2 hospitals will receive RWH systems to fulfill their requirements for clean drinking water. In addition, 200 disused tanks will be rehabilitated under the project. Overall, 360 households, 45 schools and 10 hospitals will receive RWH systems and 400 disused RWH systems will be rehabilitated in Badulla, Monaragala and Kilinochchi Districts through the project.