Floods; Where We Went Wrong- Part 6

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  • 1 year ago
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With the repercussions of the floods still ringing in our ears, of tales of submerged cars, lost certificates, damaged houses and the rise in mosquitoes we bring to an end this series.

Dr. Laksiri Pradeep, lecturer at the Department of Civil Engineering of the Open University of Sri Lanka detailed his four pronged plan to prevent damage and loss of life should such an event occur again. Relocation, Reverse Encroachment, Monitoring of chemical disposals and vertical construction were his suggestions as our best way forward.

He shared with us his experiences while working on the Weras Ganga project to further emphasis our need for planned and strategic development.

The Weras Ganga basin is a part of the Colombo Metropolitan region and is a center of economic and social activity with most parts developed as residential areas. Its water front environment resulted in it being a popular destination for recreation and residence. However due to the lack of a proper drainage system the area was vulnerable to being flooded frequently. Once this concern was identified the Weras Ganga basin storm water drainage & environment improvement project was initiated. The project implemented sustainable development activities and enhanced the improvement of the environment. Its activities resulted in the development of Nugegoda Rattanapitiya Ela, Boralesgamuwa North & South Canals, Maha Ela, Dredging of Weras Ganga and improvement of the drainage system of Bolgoda marsh. ‘As you can see, even with the heavy rains that affected multiple areas,’ Dr. Pradeep said, ‘these identified flood prone areas remained relatively unaffected despite receiving the same rainfall due to the successful implementation of the project.’

Each of us can contribute to minimizing our individual impact on the environment in our own way. We have to think about sustainable living in addition to sustainable development. Whether its reducing our usage of and reusing our materials and resources, or something as simple as planning our activities to avoid rush hour traffic or something as easy as separating our refuse, each of us can independently contribute towards the global trend of living green.

Mitigating flood occurrence and damage does not call for an isolated solution, and such a solution is not possible. The people and the authorities need to look at the bigger picture and strategically move forward in developing our island nation.

The Megapolis project is a step forward moving in the right direction to ensure that we rethink and reconsider the true goal of development. Let’s hope that together we can ensure that in the days to come the rain will not be the cause of devastation but remain only the harbinger of life.

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