Air Quality TechCamp in Kathmandu

Sri Lankan Participants in TechCamp, Kathmandu

 

Clean Air for South Asia Techcamp in Kathmandu

The U.S. Embassy in Nepal, in partnership with Kathmandu Living Labs, organized a two-day South Asia Air Quality Tech Camp on July 30-31st.

U.S. Embassy in Nepal, in partnership with Kathmandu Living Labs, organized a two-day South Asia Air Quality TechCamp on July 30-31st, accompanied with world-class trainers and 60 participants from seven South Asian countries: Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives and Pakistan.

Sri Lankan Participants in TechCamp, Kathmandu
Sri Lankan Participants in TechCamp, Kathmandu
Photo: US Embassy Kathmandu/Flickr

The aim of the camp was to address political, social, and scientific facets of the problem and improve the ability of civil society, media, and other influencers to engage governments, empower the public and take action to improve air quality in South Asia.


US Ambassador to Nepal, H.E. Randy W. Berry

“Air pollution does not respect national boundaries,” US Ambassador to Nepal, H.E. Randy W. Berry pointed out the regional cooperation required to solve the issue of air pollution.

Photo: US Embassy Kathmandu/Flickr


Participants and trainers from 10+ countries selected topics under, What’s the biggest challenge you face in your work on air quality?

  • Reliable Data/Access to Data
  • Regulations/Enforcement of Existing Regulations
  • Proper Monitoring Systems or Collection of Data
  • Awareness/Targeting the Right Audience
  • Coordination: Among Stakeholders or Across Borders
Proper Monitoring Systems/Collection of Data – Group Discussion
Proper Monitoring Systems/Collection of Data – Group Discussion Facilitators: Neelam Azmat, Santosh Gartaula
Photo: Kathmandu Living Labs

We selected one topic with a challenge we identified in our work and dived into the first round of discussions. In Sri Lanka, we have monitoring systems based on BAM and Low-Cost Sensors. But we need to have a proper monitoring network combining the region.

Speed Geeking

We spent five minutes with each trainer in 14 small groups. The trainers shared their stories of using a particular technology/strategy to address air pollution.

Photos: Piushani Ellegala

Author: Ms Piushani Ellegala

Dangerous heat stress away from the Hills of Sri Lanka since April

Heat Stress Sril Lanka

 

Dangerous heat stress away from the Hills of Sri Lanka since April

The general public in Sri Lanka has been inconvenienced due to hot weather being experienced in some parts of the country to a noticeable degree in the past six months. Hot weather in Sri Lanka is increasing dangerously in 2019. We have identified the locations to be cautious of the hot weather in Sri Lanka for the first six months of 2019. The Heat Index (HI) has been calculated by using relative humidity and temperature and this is a measure of how hot it really feels on the body when relative humidity is factored with the actual air temperature.

Heat Stress Sril Lanka
Monthly Average Heat Index of Sri Lanka for the First 6 Months of 2019
heat_index table

When considering the pattern of HI in the island, Comfort Level can be recognized in the stations situated in Central Highland mainly at Nuwara-Eliya, Diyathalawa and Kandy than sea level and intermediate zones. HI values are varying with the seasonal rainfall and environment lapse rate which are occurring with the nature of the topography and orography.

The monthly HI is varying from comfortable level to danger level for the first six months of 2019. In January to March, Caution Level can be identified in some parts of the Northern, North Central provinces and some coastal areas. Higher temperature value from April – June is responsible for increased HI values. In this period, HI values have been gone up to Danger level in some parts in Northern province and Extreme Caution Level can be identified in North Central, Eastern and North-Western provinces and coastal areas.

Monthly variation of Heat Index
Monthly variation of Heat Index during recent decades

We have obtained a mean annual cycle of HI values to understand the pattern of heat index value events over the year. These annual cycles are characterized by mean of monthly HI values over the period 1986 – 2016. An upward shift in the HI values is noticeable throughout the first 6 months in 2019. According to the HI chart, April to July can be acknowledged within Danger and Extreme Caution Levels while the rest of the year within Comfort and Caution Levels for the period 1986-2016.

Disasters Forewarned due to Ill-Planned and Badly Executed Landfill in Wilpattu Buffer

Plan of the Proposed Sanitary Landfill

 

Disasters Forewarned due to Ill-Planned and Badly Executed Landfill in Wilpattu Buffer

We visited the vicinity of the Aruwakkalu area which has been a matter of threats, protests and a controversial project by a blacklisted Chinese company which is being rushed through by the Ministry of Megapolis under Minister Champika Ranawaka to transfer Colombo Garbage to Puttalam District (Daily Mirror, 15, 2019).

Aruwakkalu Landfill site

The Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development has proposed to develop a landfill in Aruwakkalu (in the Puttalam district), with a waste transfer station in Kelaniya, as a necessary alternative solution for the municipal solid waste disposal problem faced mainly in the Colombo Metro Region and in the Grater Colombo Area largely. The plan is to transfer the garbage using rail transport from Colombo to the proposed landfill site at Aruwakkalu, at a rate of 1200 tons per day, covering a distance of 170 km one way. However, the landfill is open to other local authorities in the Greater Colombo and the local authorities in Puttalam.

Aruwakkalu Landfill, reservation and buffer zones
Aruwakkalu Landfill, reservation and buffer zones

Final report, EIAR For the Proposed Project on Metro Colombo Solid Waste Management, MINISTRY OF URBAN DEVELOPMENT, WATER SUPPLY AND DRAINAGE, Central Environmental Authority, August 2015  (pp15-21) – link 

Final report, EIAR For the Proposed Project on Metro Colombo Solid Waste Management, MINISTRY OF URBAN DEVELOPMENT, WATER SUPPLY AND DRAINAGE, Central Environmental Authority, August 2015  (pp15-21) – link 


 

Aruwakkalu-Wilpattu Buffer

Mr.-Barr-KumarakulasingheMr. Barr Kumarakulasinghe is a environmental scientist. In the discussions Mr. Kumarakulasinghe highlighted threats to the water ways, ecosystem and wildlife particularly to three adjacent areas as the garbage Processing center is situated in a critical area.

 

  • Puttalam lagoon through leaching from the groundwater – this shall affect the fisheries and ecosystem
  • Kala Oya basin as the garbage processing center is 3km from the Kala Oya – water can be contaminated.
  • Wilpattu Forested Area which is six km away to which there is a threat from aquatic contamination through the groundwater and for the wildlife.

Aquifer-type-map-Sri-Lanka
Different types of aquifers in Sri Lanka (Panabokke and Perera, 2005)

Ground Water: The capping of the sanitary landfill is to be made of cement, it may crack as a result of dynamite blasting in the nearby area by Holcim and INSEE cement companies and if it cracks the effluents will end up in the waterways and groundwater.

Further, he says, the rain in the locality can be intense for brief periods -maybe 2000 mm for one and a half months – it will lead to overflowing of the landfill and we need to address the risk of leaching into the aquifers as well.

Links: https://wilpattuhouse.blogspot.com/2015/10/colombo-garbage-to-wilpattu.html

https://wilpattuhouse.blogspot.com/2015/10/update-colombo-garabge-to-wilpattu.html

 

 

Discussions with Mr. S.M. Mubarack

Mr. S.M. Mubarack

Mr. S.M. Mubarack is an environmentalist and a development planning officer, who has looked in to in-depth in development planning projects in the area over the years. Puttalam has been the butt of past projects with disastrous environmental impacts and he raises the issue of environmental racism in how projects are handled. The project to bring garbage to Aruwakkalu is the latest.

Site with Dangers

Aruwakkalu is the most unsuitable land to have the sanitary landfill or even open dumping, because what they are doing is on top of the limestone quarry which would not bear the load built up of 1200MT per day according to the Megapolis Ministry.

Shady Dealings

Even though the EIA says the loading will be for ten years the minister say eighty years and the funds for this project would be raised from the World bank and AIIB (Chinese bank) and the whole project is said to be estimated to be USD 274 Million, which in his opinion is much more of a building program than a garbage management program and knowing that the contract was given to a company (CHEC) which is a blacklisted company by the World Bank where the World Bank has withdrawn USD 115 million and USD 44 million was to be contributed by the government of Sri Lanka.

He further added, that the conditions that have been laid down by the Central Environmental Authority as part of the EIA are being completely violated and they are supposed to bring the garbage by train but, now they are coming by trucks.

Lack of Community Consultations

One of the integral parts of the EIA is community consultation, but, they have consulted about fifteen people at Kelaniya where the transfer station is and considered only two people from Aruwakkalu area, one of them is a Buddhist priest and the other is a farmer. Not a single local authority from the Puttalam area sends the garbage to Aruwakkalu but the unsorted garbage is sorted and the stinking garbage is brought from Kuliyapitiya urban council area is dumped at the Aruwakkalu site. For the whole project, the people and the Pradeshiya Sabha chairman and the members have objected, but Minister Champika is trying to implement everything in a dictatorial manner, he says.
Apart from that, they have consulted some government servants including Grama Sevakas who have said there is no problem without even knowing the integral parts of the garbage management.

References –

  1. Barr-Kumarakulasinghe, S, Colombo, Meethotumulla Garbage is not to Puttalam but the Wilpattu, October 14, 2015, Blogpost. http://wilpattuhouse.blogspot.com/2015/10/colombo-garbage-to-wilpattu.html
  2. Barr-Kumarakulasinghe, S, Colombo, Update – Colombo Garbage to Wilpattu, October 14, 2015, Blogpost. http://wilpattuhouse.blogspot.com/2015/10/update-colombo-garabge-to-wilpattu.html
  3. Kamanthi Wickramanasinhghe, Aruwakkalu Landfill Project Another White Elephant, Daily Mirror, 14 August 2019. http://www.dailymirror.lk/news-features/Sanitary-project-Aruwakkalu-landfill-another-white-elephant/131-172841
  4. Malaka Rodrigo, Environmentalists derail garbage train to Aruwakkalu, Sunday Times, October 4, 2015. http://www.sundaytimes.lk/151004/news/environmentalists-derail-garbage-train-to-aruwakkalu-166659.html
  5. Environmental Impact Assessment Report of the Proposed Project on Metro Colombo Solid Waste Management, Ministry Of Megapolis and Western Development, August 2017. https://ewsdata.rightsindevelopment.org/files/documents/55/AIIB-000055_LdaZhb5.pdf

Does Air Pollution from Norochcholai Power Plant reach the Hills and Colombo?

Does Air Pollution from Norochcholai Power Plant reach the Hills and Colombo?

The theme of Environment Day globally has been designated by UN agencies as “#BeatAirPollution” to highlight the rapidly deteriorating quality of air particularly in urban areas. FECT has been working on understanding the inter-related roles of climate and air quality and their impact on environment and society.
This video presents aspects of our Air Quality work on
  • the instrumentation in the Western Sri Lanka region between Puttalam, Kandy and Colombo districts
  • Use of Internet enabled real time pollution monitoring
  • Analysis to detect pollution characteristics
  • Modeling to assess transport of pollution

2019 w/ theme In , we find alarming rise in air pollution in Puttalam, Nawalapitiya & Colombo from using instruments of &

ඉහත වීඩියෝවේ සිංහල අනුවාදය සඳහා මෙය දිග හරින්න

වායු දූෂණය පරාජය කරමු

බොහෝ රටවල වායු ගුණාත්මකභාවය තවමත් බරපතල පරිසර තර්ජනයක් ලෙස නොසලකයි. මෙම වීඩියෝ පටයේ FECT විසින් අපගේ වායු ගුණාත්මක වැඩ පිළිබඳ සාරාංශයක් අඩංගු වන අතර එමඟින් මෙම වායු දූෂණය අපගේ නරඹන්නන්ගේ අවධානයට යොමු කිරීමට අපි බලාපොරොත්තු වෙමු.