Garbage piles at Mt Lavinia Beach: Nourishment project to blame – Residents
By Ranmini Gunasekara
Locals living near the newly-nourished stretch of the Mount Lavinia Beach claimed that the mounting piles of garbage were not washed in by tides, but rather were brought in through the beach nourishment project.
Speaking to Ceylon Today, a local hotelier said they have witnessed those carrying out the Beach nourishment fill the stretch with sand mixed with garbage. He further claimed that the Mount Lavinia Beach had never seen this level of garbage before.
Meanwhile, The Pearl Protectors organisation, which voluntarily organised a clean-up of the beach recently, also pointed out that the garbage seen at the beach was a recent occurrence. Coordinator of The Pearl Protectors, Muditha Katuwawala, said there was garbage buried in the sand, a few feet deep. “We have videos from volunteers which show them digging out so much plastic and polythene entrenched in the sand, a few feet deep. It’s hard to believe that this much garbage simply washed in from the tides.”
‘Its Mount Beach,’ a neighbourhood volunteer organisation dedicated to cleaning the Mount Lavinia Beach daily, added that the garbage found was very concentrated. Co-Founder of ‘Its Mount Beach,’ Ruwanjala Jayawardena, said there were well-known food brands in the garbage, around 20 packets of each of the brands. “This isn’t usual. Most of these packets had not been torn open; it’s as if they were cut with great precision. We also found a lot of cloth which we felt were waste from a garment factory.”
The Mount Lavinia Beach nourishment project was completed by the Coast Conservation Department during the islandwide curfew imposed due to COVID-19. The project, which was reported to have been done without an Environmental Impact Assessment faced censure from activists, experts and the public alike.