Sathdiyawara for rural folk in the dry zone | Sunday Observer

Sathdiyawara for rural folk in the dry zone

Sri Lanka continues to grapple with a rising number of cases of chronic kidney disease of uncertain etiology (CKDu), with estimates of thousands of cases across Sri Lanka’s North Central, East, Uva, Southern and Northern provinces being recorded over the past decade alone.

Leading the charge in the fight against CKDu, the Hayleys Group has been actively combating the spread of the disease through the installation of Reverse Osmosis plants all across Sri Lanka’s dry-zone under its flagship CSR programme, Puritas Sathdiyawara.

Awareness and concern over the ravaging effect that this affliction has had on families and communities across the region is on the rise and it appears that the spread of CKDu is closely correlated with harsh, hot, and extremely parched conditions prevalent in these areas and resulting water-scarcity in the area.

Day-to-day life has quickly degraded into a constant struggle as larger groups of Sri Lankans are faced with the life-threateningly difficult decision of consuming what little water they have and risking the fate which they have seen so many friends and family fall to, or struggle a while longer with no water at all.

Dutuwewa is one such village in Sri Lanka’s North Central province which has for decades endured these harsh conditions with little to no outside assistance until recently when a dedicated Reverse Osmosis water purification plant was established in the village for the first time as part of the continuing efforts of the Hayleys Puritas Sathdiyawara, finally signalling an end to the terrible scarcity of drinking water which area residents had stoically weathered for so many years.

Speaking at the ceremonial opening of the plant, Chairman and Chief Executive of Hayleys PLC, Mohan Pandithage said: “Our goal with Puritas Sathdiyawara from the outset has been to ensure that we are able to make a lasting and meaningful improvement to the lives of these once vibrant rural communities. It is our duty to ensure that the basic needs of the people and communities of this nation are met, and their aspirations nurtured.

Access to, safe, clean drinking water for these communities is absolutely imperative and we at Hayleys are fully committed to do as much as possible to fulfil this fundamental need and help to ease the plight of our people.”

Following the construction of its first RO plant in Maithreepura, Padaviya, one of the villages worst affected by CKD in 2014 Puritas Sathdiyawara has gone on to install 16 RO plants across four districts, providing life-saving access to clean, drinking water for over 33,000 men, women and children across 19 villages in the North and North Central provinces. In keeping with the established model of Sathdiyawara where key sectors of Hayleys Group companies sponsor the construction of a new RO plant, the Dutuwewa facility was sponsored by the Hayleys Group’s tea marketing and export business, Mabroc Teas.