Monday, February 19, 2007

Islamabath Environmental Impact Assessment

Monday, February 19, 2007
KALMUNAI – During a full day tour of Ampara District, Hon. Ferial Ashraff, Minister of Housing & Common Amenities, made a brief visit to the Islamabath dumpsite in Kalmunai. The purpose of the visit was to note that an Environmental Impact Assessment involving the Canadian Agro Sustainability Partnership Inc. (CASP) has just been completed, and there is a proposal in place to relocate the dumpsite to an environmentally better location outside the Municipality and to clean up the existing dumpsite at Islamabath, as it is a major health hazard.

In addition to Canadian Agro Sustainability Partnership Inc. (CASP) identifying the need to remedy the existing dumpsite and to improve solid waste management in Kalmunai, there has been strong support from USAid to do so, including funding of the recent Environmental Impact Assessment.

Minister Ashraff announced that she is hopeful that within the next several weeks, funding will be in place to relocate the existing dump and to restore the current site to an environmentally acceptable standard. This will provide great benefit to Kalmunai and particularly to the residents and school children in the immediate area of the existing dump. There are also plans for a community awareness program so that residents become more aware and responsible for the way they manage solid wastes generated in their homes and community.

Part of CASP’s role in undertaking the Ampara District Master Plan has been to identify gaps in the reconstruction work others are undertaking and to find ways of addressing and correcting such gaps. Kalmunai solid waste management is an example of such a gap that appears to be well on its way to being corrected.

Minister Ashraff and the Ministerial Task Force have responsibility within the Government of Sri Lanka for CASP’s preparation of the Ampara District Master Plan. CASP’s activities under the Master Plan are funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The Master Plan includes all sectors of socio-economic development in Sri Lanka and is to provide a way forward for the next 15-20 years. It encompasses tsunami reconstruction, conflict reconstruction, and socio-economic opportunities for the District.