Save the beach - start from home | Sunday Observer

Save the beach - start from home

Sri Lanka is blessed with a scenic beachscape all around the island. As a traveller during data collection for the Coast Conversation Management Plan in 2004, I got an opportunity to explore the inherent beauty of the Lankan beaches.

However, the extent to which the beautiful beaches are polluted is appalling and beyond acceptance. This has resulted in a timely awareness program initiated by the Sri Lanka Institute Architects (SLIA). Parallel to Environment Day on June 5, a beach cleaning program was organized at the Moratuwa beach. This program was geared by the architects’ fraternity, along with the Municipal Council, Moratuwa, students of the University of Moratuwa, City School of Architecture, members of SLIA Sports Committee and the Green Building Committee of SLIA.

There are a series of events to educate the general public about waste segregation, recycling and the adoption of the 3R concept to manage waste meaningfully. In addition, distribution of composting units, waste bins, reusable bags and financial support are practised in many places to combat this problem effectively along with legal tools such as, fines in critical cases.

However, the key driving force to control this problem is self-dedication and commitment. Understanding the severity of the problem and reduction of waste generation at individual level would have a strong impact in the long run.

Waste segregation and management must be effectively handled at household level. Due to mismanaged waste problem, Sri Lanka has been ranked 5th in 2015 under the world’s beach plastic offenders list. This is an important concern to be addressed at national level.

Archt. Russell Dandeniya,
Vice President, SLIA.