Over the last two decades or so a terminal kidney disease of unknown etiology has affected many rural farming communities in Rajarata, Sri Lanka. According to press reports; despite diagnostic underestimations, amount of deaths reported is 13 farmers a day and this is worse than Tsunami. More than 90% of the affected communities live in rural areas with little access to medical or preventative health facilities. It has been widely accepted that supply of good quality drinking water is one of the most important interventions for controlling the disease.
Lions Club of West Pennant Hills Cherrybrook identified this as an international humanitarian project and worked through their twinned club, Lions Club of Wattala, Sri Lanka to provide two water purification plants with the capacity of providing pure water for 8,000 people in two affected areas in Anuradhapura. Two plants were installed and handed over to two registered Community Based Organisations in Gatalawa and Hurulukumbukwewa in Anuradhapura district on 21st of December 2015. These areas may need 100s if not 1000s of such plants to provide clean water for these affected villages.
Cost of the purchase and installation of two plants etc was approximately Rs. 3.0 Million (AU$30,000) and Rs. 1.5 Million of that was contributed by the Lions Club of West Pennant Hills Cherrybrook. Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) made this project a reality by providing the balance Rs. 1.5 Million on the request of Lions Club of West Pennant Hills Cherrybrook. Department of Community water supply (a Sri Lankan Government institution) provided Rs. 1.0 Million for the infrastructure including buildings, tanks and pipe works. Lands were provided by the two Community Based Organisations (CBO). CBOs will run and maintain the plants under the periodical supervision of Department of Community Water Supply.
As an ongoing service, Lions Club of Wattala organised and conducted multi service medical camps in both villages with the financial assistance of the Lions Club of West Pennant Hills Cherrybrrok.
Read more about this project: Lions Newsletter – Page 11
In the picture after opening of the plant at Gatalawa, Anuradhapura are District Governor, District 306 B1, Sri Lanka Lion Christie Nanayakkara, and the project team Lion Mohan Nanayakkara and Lion Dr Mahishi Nanayakkara of Lions Club of West Pennant Hills Cherrybrook, PDG Lion Lakshman Wijesinghe, PMCC Lions Chithral Amarathunga, Lion Dr. Seba Jayamaha and Lion Dr. Anoma Wijesinghe of Lions Club of Wattala. President of the Lions Club of Wattala Lion Sunil Jayaweera is also in the picture.