Plastic Pollution in the Pinga Oya – An Ongoing Problem

Plastic Pollution in the Pinga Oya – An Ongoing Problem

Plastics clog up the Pinga Oya

During the flood events in Akurana, we can see that plastics are clogging up the river. These are
visible floating on the water’s surface. On the sides of the river and bank on the pillars on which
many buildings are standing. These include plastics from 1 cube of silt, 1 kg of plastic bottles, and plastic bags (Source: from the report of Srimalee Kashmitha, Achintha Sandaruwan, University
of Peradeniya). When plastics go downstream, it creates a headache for water intake for
the water supply at Gohagoda (NWSDB) and the Mahaweli diversion tunnel going to the Bowatenna hydropower plant.

Solid Waste Management Practices

Plastic waste should not be in the river but a failure in disposing of solid wastes (SW) properly is
the problem. While there is a system of collecting SW locally by the APS, there are
shortcomings in its functioning, and plastics are routinely dumped all over including in the river, and disposed of by burning. The environmental offices at the Akurana Pradeshiya Sabahawa
and Divisional Secretariat, the Central Environmental Authority are responsible for solving these
problems. They do need the cooperation of businesses, organizations, and citizens. An effort to
promote the 5R practices – Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Repurpose.

Steps to prevent pollution from plastics and waste are outlined by the Eng. Thameema
Hilal in the Pinga Oya workshop (Zubair and Wickramagamage, Proceedings of the Symposium
on Pinga Oya, 2013, University of Peradeniya, pp 77).

Accumulation of floating debris, sediment, and pollutants can be controlled and prevented by the following exercise.

  • Solid waste, liquid waste, and garbage should be minimized by introducing reuse and recycling practices. Low-cost methods can be introduced.
  • Mixing sewer to the stream without treatment should be completely stopped. Other possible methods can be introduced at the catchment. Improving the quality of water by removing nutrients and controlling the growth of water plants”.
  • Conducting awareness programs among the people who actually pollute and activities to promote the protection of the environment.

Leave a Comment

Verified by MonsterInsights