A growing garbage disaster

Published : 8:56 am  May 23, 2017 | No comments so far |  | 


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Texts & Pics by Reka Tharangani Fonseka  
In an unexpected twist, residents living in close quarters to the Karadiyana garbage dumping site have to now deal with crocodiles who steal out of the Bolgoda Lake to prey on stray dogs and cattle who rummage through bags of garbage dumped outside by passing motorists.   

Speaking to the , several residents said they now had to deal with the threat of crocodiles apart from the health issues caused by the garbage dump.   

“There are at least four or five crocodiles who come to eat the strays that rummage through the garbage dumped here. People who dump garbage here have no idea what we have to deal with. People have forgotten that we too are humans living in the area,” they complained.   

Mahesh Wickrema, a resident, said passing motorists dumped and threw bags of garbage at all times of the day, attracting strays in search of food and crocodiles who not only found food in the garbage but also preyed on the strays at the site.   

“We have people living in the vicinity who dump garbage here, then we have people who dumped fish and fish heads at night while some others dump garbage on their way to work and stop to take pictures and observe the crocodiles who come out in the evening on their way home. What they find amusing and interesting has made our lives hell,” he said.   

Wickrema said a court order had directed the Western Province Solid Waste Management Authority to clear out the canal in the area but it made no difference to the situation faced by the residents.   

“To make matters worse there are a lot of unauthorized structures in the area. They have a lot of trucks and lorries coming by to pick up and drop things which blocks the road even more,” he said.   

Another resident, Shantha Liyanage who also spoke to the  said his family was forced to stay in the area as they were unable to sell the land and therefore could not afford to relocate to a new area.   

“People need to realize that we too are humans and we to need a clean environment to live in. They should not dump garbage along the road just because it is close to the garbage dumping yard,” he said.