Sanitary landfill in Waga Pelpola, Sri Lanka

In 2008, the project to establish a sanitary landfill in Waga Pelpola has been abandoned thanks to local communities protests, but Sri Lanka still face problems with waste disposal in many other sites.


<div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Description</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld"></td><td class="columns"><div class="less">In 2008, the project to establish a sanitary landfill in Waga Pelpola has been abandoned thanks to the protests carried on by local communities and EJOs [1]. The proposed site was not far from Labugama water facility which provides drinking water to about 2 million people in Colombo city. Moreover the location was in the middle of "Indikada Mukalana" Forest reserve which releases water to three of the main Sri Lankan rivers. According to the proposal made by the Central Environmental Authority, approximately 90 metric tons of unsorted waste collected from Maharagama, Homagama and Sithawaka areas would have been brought to the site but people complained that the landfill would have became the dumping site for Colombo metropolitan garbage too, hurting this sensitive area [2].</div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none">In view of the strong public protest demonstrated against the proposed landfill project at Waga, the government decided to suspend it and to change the project site from Waga to Dompe. At the moment also the communities living in Dompe are protesting against the new project, stating the same criticism faced by Waga people [3].<br/><br/>However waste disposal is still a serious issue in Sri Lanka. Owing to the population growth, urbanization and changing in people lifestyles the generation of municipal solid waste from both domestic and commercial source has dramatically increased over the past three decades. Following the statements by CEJ which is engaged in the ‘waste debate’ since 2000, the prevalent municipal solid waste management practices in the country are highly deficient and dated. A system of throwing waste on to the streets by the people and local bodies collecting such waste from the streets and disposing it in the most unhygienic manner is the current practice. Generally, no storage of waste is being done at the source and instead domestic, commercial and industrial, including bio-medical, waste are thrown on to the streets, footpaths, drains and water bodies. Moreover construction and demolition wastes are also deposited on the roadside or open spaces. <br/><br/>For this reason in 2007 the CEJ filed a petition to the Appeal Court against the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) over the formulation of a National Policy for Solid Waste Management [4].<br/><br/>On October 2007 the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources has taken steps to formulate a National Policy on Solid Waste Management (NPSWM) and drafted new National Solid Waste Management Strategies for implementing the National Policy on Solid Waste Management. The “Pilisaru” national solid waste management program, financed by the Korean cooperation, was the concrete output of this effort (for more informations on Pilisaru program and NPSWM see [5,6]. However seen the oppositions by the local environmental organizations the problem haven’t been solved yet.<br/><br/>On October 2012 the Kolonnawa garbage dump has collapsed on the surrounding houses causing several damages to their inhabitants [7]. More recently (2015) residents in the area of Kadiriyan’s garbage dump formed a committee (Theth Bim Kalamanakaranaya) and organized public protests and petitions to ask the dump to be shifted. Protesters state that the garbage dump is a breeding place for mosquitoes and other pests. They also said that the waste from this dump flows into close by rivers polluting their sources of water [8].<br/><br/>Hazardous waste is also a serious problem which Sri Lanka have to deal with. Following the declarations by Hemantha Withanage from CEJ electronic waste is still imported and dumped in the market and Holcim cement plant burns toxic waste in its factory in Puttalam with the approval of the North Western Provincial Environmental Authority generating pollution in Puttalam area [9]. <br/><br/>Withanage adds ‘Waste problem will have no solution as long as we catch the issue from the dumping tail. Solution only can be made if we solve the problem at waste generation sources... Requiring industry to design waste reduction and reuse means that the quantity and toxicity of material is incrementally reduced towards zero. Allowing industry to manufacture goods and packaging without taking responsibility for their end-of-life use means that we face an ever-increasing quantity of more complex and more toxic waste' [9].<br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Basic Data</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Name</td><td>Sanitary landfill in Waga Pelpola, Sri Lanka</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Country</td><td><a href="/country/sri-lanka">Sri Lanka</a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Province</td><td>Western Province</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Site</td><td>Waga Pelpola </td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Accuracy of Location</td><td>HIGH local level</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Source of Conflict</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (1st level)</td><td>Waste Management</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td><a href='/commodity/land'>Land</a><br /><a href='/commodity/domestic-municipal-waste'>Domestic municipal waste</a></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Project Details and Actors</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Details</td><td class="columns"><div class="less">At the national level, more than 40,000 tons of hazardous waste is being produced per annum [10].</div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none">In 2007 Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) officials visited Sri Lanka and agreed to allocate funds for constructing one model sanitary landfill and they selected a land at Waga which would facilitate four Local Authorities (Maharagama UC, Seethawaka Pura UC, Homagama PS and Seethawaka PS).<br/><br/>The Government of Korea (GOK) signed an agreement called Record of Discussion (RoD) signed between the Secretary to the Ministry of Environmental & Natural Resources and the Resident Representative of KOICA on 24th April 2008. According to the agreement, the Government of Korea agreed to allocate 4.5 million US dollars for this project and Government of Sri Lanka ‘contribution is 1.5 million US dollars to develop sanitary landfill at Pelpola, Waga [1].<br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Level of Investment (in USD)</td><td>6,500,000.000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Population</td><td>Semi-urban</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Start Date</td><td>2007</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Relevant government actors</td><td>Ministry of Environmental & Natural Resources and Secretary to the Ministry of Environmental & Natural Resources.<br/><br/>Central Environmental Authority (CEA).<br/><br/>Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Government<br/><br/>Local Authorities of Maharagama UC, Seethawaka Pura UC, Homagama PS and Seethawaka PS</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">International and Financial Institutions</td><td><a href='/institution/government-of-korea'>Government of Korea</a> from <a href='/country-of-institution/republic-of-korea'><small>Republic of Korea</small></a> - <small>financer</small><br /><a href='/institution/korean-international-cooperation-agency-koica'> Korean International Cooperation Agency <small>(KOICA)</small></a> from <a href='/country-of-institution/republic-of-korea'><small>Republic of Korea</small></a> - <small>financer</small></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Environmental justice organisations and other supporters</td><td>Center for Environmental Justice.<br/><br/>Friends of Earth.<br/><br/>Theth Bim Kalamanakaranaya commettee (regarding Kolonnawa garbage dump)</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">The Conflict and the Mobilization</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)</td><td>LOW (some local organising)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>PREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>Farmers<br /> International ejos<br /> Local ejos<br /> Local government/political parties<br /> Neighbours/citizens/communities<br /> Social movements<br /> Local scientists/professionals</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)<br /> Creation of alternative reports/knowledge<br /> Development of a network/collective action<br /> Involvement of national and international NGOs<br /> Objections to the EIA<br /> Official complaint letters and petitions<br /> Public campaigns<br /> Street protest/marches<br /> Arguments for the rights of mother nature<br /> Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Impacts</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Environmental Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Air pollution, Fires, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Other Environmental impacts</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other</td><td>death of wild animals due to the foraging for food in open dumps</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Health Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Other Health impacts</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other</td><td>Rush, skin disease and health disease caused by inadequate sanitary condition (dengue, cholera, typhus) affect people living in the areas surrounding the dumps</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Socio-economic Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Land dispossession<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Loss of livelihood, Loss of landscape/sense of place</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Outcome</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Status</td><td>Stopped</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Pathways for conflict outcome / response</td><td>Institutional changes<br /> New legislation<br /> Project cancelled<br /> On October 2007 the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources has taken steps to formulate a National Policy on Solid Waste Management (NPSWM) and drafted new National Solid Waste Management Strategies for implementing the National Policy on Solid Waste Management [5,6]</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Development of Alternatives</td><td>Require authorities the implementation of a comprehensive National Policy for Municipal Solid Waste Management. <br/><br/>Require industry to design waste reduction and reuse<br/><br/>Center for Environmental Justice is leading a campaign to educate public and students on reuse electronic waste.</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Do you consider this as a success?</td><td>Not Sure</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Why? Explain briefly.</td><td>The project to establish a sanitary landfill in Waga Pelpola has been abandoned but the landfill has been shifted to Dompe. </td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Sources and Materials</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Legislations</td><td><table><tr><td><p> National Environmental Act. sections 10 (b), (c), (d), (e), (f) section 23 (g)<br/></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> [1] Central Environmental Authority, Ministry of Environment. Annual report 2012. (accessed 8/04/2015)<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.parliament.lk/uploads/documents/paperspresented/annual_report_central_environment_authority_2012.pdf" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> [4] C. A. Ap. No. 565 / 2007. Petition to the Appeal Court against the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) over the formulation of a National Policy for Solid Waste Management. (accessed 8/04/2015)<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.ejustice.lk/news/2014-news/Case%20seeking%20a%20Solid%20waste%20management%20Policy%20-%20June%202007/Petition-%20seeking%20a%20waste%20management%20policy-%20Sri%20Lanka.pdf" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> [6] web page of Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment. National Policy on Solid Waste Management. (last updated 17/2/2012) (accessed 8/04/2015)<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.environmentmin.gov.lk/web/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=136&Itemid=127&lang=en" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> [7] News paper article from 'the Sunday times' (21/10/2012). Garbage strikes back: Disposes people of their homes By Aanya Wipulasena. (accessed 8/04/2015)<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.sundaytimes.lk/121021/news/garbage-strikes-back-disposes-people-of-their-homes-17460.html" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> [8] News paper article from 'Daily News' online (1/04/2015). 'Dump' this garbage dump. (accessed 8/04/2015)<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=local/dump-garbage-dump" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> [5] Successful Integrated Urban Planning Approach to Solid Waste Management in Sri Lanka. Planning and Implementation of Pilisaru National Solid Waste Management Project. by Malaka Dassanayake. Pilisaru National Solid Waste Management Project. Central Environmental Authority, Ministry of Environment & Natural Resources. Sri Lanka. (Accessed 8/04/2015)<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.visual.se/pics/PDFs/pilisaru_waste_management_m_dassanayake.pdf" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> [9] News paper article from 'the Island' online. Proposed Garbage dumping in Waga by Hemantha Withanage. (accessed 8/04/2014)<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.island.lk/2009/01/14/features2.html" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> [10] ejustice.lk (13/1/2007). Say no to Colombo garbage! The saga of unending recyclomania and more stinking city garbage dumps. By Hemantha Withanage. (accessed 8/04/2015)<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.ejustice.lk/CEJ%20web6/article%2019-%20Say%20no%20to%20Colombo%20garbage!.htm" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> [2] Article publishe on Center for Environmental Justice web site (14/01/2009). Proposed Garbage Dumping in Waga. Posted by Hemanta Withanage (accessed 8/04/2015)<br/><a class="refanch small" href=" http://ejustice.lk/articles-proposed-garbage.htm" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> [3] News paper article from 'The sunday times' (6/09/2009). Dompe dump: Detractors Vs defenders (accessed 8/04/2015).<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.sundaytimes.lk/090906/News/nws_18.html" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other Documents</td><td><table><tr><td><p><strong>Recent protest against Dompe dump</strong> <br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/Recent-protests.jpg" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p><strong>Man at work to prepare the site for Dompe dump</strong> <br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/The-site.jpg" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Meta Information</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Contributor</td><td>Centre for Environmental Justice (Colombo, Sri Lanka) and Paola Camisani (EJOLT team, Barcelona)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Last update</td><td>24/04/2015</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div>
Comments