Negombo is located approximately 37km north of the commercial capital of Colombo in Sri Lanka, at the mouth of the Negombo lagoon. It is the major beach resort in Sri Lanka’s west coast. The wide sandy beaches and the safe sea are the main attractions of Negombo and it is perfectly located within 7 km from the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake.
More than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas or towns and due to this rapid urbanization, urban solid waste has become a big crisis. The Negombo municipal area also faces many challenges in managing solid waste. Inadequate collection, transport and disposal of solid waste in the cities give more pressure to the municipalities. Economic difficulties and lack of awareness of the extent of the problem are some of the major reasons for the Solid Waste Management issues in Negombo area.
But it is clear that inadequate Solid Waste Management systems create many socio-cultural, economic and environmental problems including health problems. So without giving serious attention to this issue, it is difficult to achieve sustainable development.
Public private sector partnerships can play an important role in improving the waste management system in the Negombo city.
Current Issues in Negombo Poruthota Road
When considering the Negombo Poruthota Road it goes through the major beach resorts in the West coast and therefore, in terms of Solid Waste Management, it is one of the most sensitive areas in Negombo, as many of tourists use this road frequently.
Main problems faced by inadequate Solid Waste Management are:
- Losing guest attraction
- Increased risk of mosquito-borne diseases, e.g. Dengue fever.
- Increased risk of stray dogs
- Blocking the main drainage system due to disposal of polythene and plastic materials
- E-waste also mixes with regular garbage and it will result in the leaching of heavy metals to the environment
- Burning of polythene and plastic release toxic gases to the environment
Garbage piled on road sides in the Negombo area
Littering on the roadsides Blocked drainage systems
Observed reasons for the poor waste management of Negombo Poruthota road:
- Waste collection of Negombo Municipal Council (NMC) not being carried out on time
- Negligence of the local people
- Poor maintenance of road sides by NMC
- Lack of education regarding Solid Waste Management
Proposed solutions for proper Solid Waste Management and to improve the condition of Negombo Poruthota road:
- Educate every household regarding Solid Waste Management and reduce the waste generation from household level.
- Provide compost bins to selected suitable households.
- Motivate households towards home gardening in a model of urban agriculture.
- Introduce buyers to recycling waste.
- Collect garbage of the main road including sub roads as per the schedule.
- Introduce the bell system for garbage collection tractor to communicate with the people.
- Clean the road sides regularly.
RDA (Road Development Authority) level
- Clean the main drainage regularly and replace damaged slabs.
Private sector level
- Conduct a shramadana campaign once every three months.
- Planting of trees on the road sides.
Task plan for the proposed project:
On the 10th of November an awareness program was conducted to educate the government officials regarding the project and former Provincial Director of Health in Western Province Dr. Deepthi Perera participated as a facilitator.
In that program solid waste separation was mainly considered.
Then we organized the stakeholder’s meeting on 10th January to discuss how to approach the community. As per the discussion it was planned to divide six sub areas for convenience for handling the project.
It was found that Samurdhi campaign is one of the best channels to approach the community. Therefore, as the next step of the program we will be talking to the community through the monthly Samurdhi meetings.