Lovely Ella has a big dirty problem
ECONOMYNEXT- Ella, that lovely mountain resort which is now a popular tourist destination in Sri Lanka is awash with garbage because there isn’t enough space in the town dump for the waste.
Ella Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman, Amila Basnayaka told EconomyNext the ten perch land reserved as a garbage disposal site is too small.
The dump which was built more than a decade ago “according to the needs of the town. It’s too small for today’s needs, Basnayaka said.
Basnayaka also said that managing waste is a challenge. “We cannot do any composting as that process needs high temperatures which Ella does not have,” he pointed out.
Basnayaka is doing the rounds looking for suitable land to start a dump, but none has been forthcoming.
“We have asked for a piece of land from the forest department from the Madugasthalawa area. It is a barren land of 5 acres,” Basnayaka said.
“We only store the garbage. That means we do not sort it out and use it for compost or recycling.” Basnayaka said.
Basnayaka said if a solution is not given immediately the garbage collection will come to halt.
“We will have to stop collecting garbage within a few days because the mound of garbage in the dump is high and is about to collapse on to the Ella-Wellawaya road.”
Basnayaka said the issue should be considered as a national issue because Ella is such an important tourist destination and a solution found immediately.
Basnayaka is accusing the Forest Department of dragging its feet on the case for 2 years without providing a proper solution.
A Spokesman for the Uva Provincial Governor said, they are looking for alternative solutions other than the Forest department land, and also have taken steps to acquire land for this purpose.
“We will find a solution for this immediately. We have looked for several lands and we have written to the related parties,” the official said.
The Tourism and Commercial Association (TCA) of Ella told EconomyNext, the garbage problem will affect the tourism industry in the area if a solution is not given immediately.
“There are 800 hotels and restaurants in Ella. And about 600 are registered.” TCA Ella said.
“Between 3 and 5 tons of garbage is disposed every day by these restaurants.”
TCA Ella said, the Governor’s office contacted them, and working on alternative solutions.
“We have talked with the governor about this issue and they are trying to provide land which we can use.” (Colombo/ Jan 29/ 2020)
Kithmina Hewage- Institute of Policy Studies