Wetahirakanda Nature Reserve: Label dumpers not found yet
By Eunice Ruth
Authorities are unable to find suspects who dumped clothing labels on a section of the Wetahirakanda Nature Reserve which serves as a elephant corridor, said an official from the Climate Action Now (CAN) organisation.
The official said, thousands of discarded H&M clothing labels were found buried at the Wetahirakanda Nature Reserve which is currently being used as a garbage dump by various business organisations and travelers using this road to Wellawaya.
“Even if the label tagged as being made in Sri Lanka, we haven’t yet found out who is behind this as we are unable to find a local manufacturer using the H&M clothing brand, who is responsible for this. We questioned several persons and organisations regarding this but all refused to comment saying they have no idea about this,” she said.
She stated this reserve serves as an elephant corridor and was also declared as a protected area through an Extraordinary Gazette 1514/25 in 2007. This reserve comes under the purview of the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) and the Department is now aware of this illegal trash dump within the Nature Reserve area.
Following a tip off regarding the trash dump and environmental pollution by different organisations at the Wetahirakanda Nature Reserve, the CAN with volunteers conducted a cleaning programme with the permission of the DWC to clear the trash from the area, she added.
During the cleanup, it was found that a clothing manufacturer dumped many unused clothing labels under a big tree, approximately 50 metres into the forest from the main road. She said, some labels were buried, while some others were on the surface and these labels were dumped along with non recyclable waste.
She requested the relevant authorities to launch a special investigation in this regard to prevent this dumping of trash from taking place within the Nature Reserve she also urged the authorities to take necessary action to save the wildlife as these unethical practices by manufacturers can pollute the surrounding environment.