Clean Water Free from Toxins: A basic Human Right for Inhabitants: Public awareness message from Patriotic Sri Lankans
Posted on August 18th, 2009

Ben Silva

One of the basic needs of human and the responsibility of the government is to provide safe and clean drinking water.  This is particularly important in the North Central Province (NCP) of Sri Lanka .  Vast majority of the drinking water supply in this region is contaminated and hence people suffer from ailment related to drinking as well as consuming foods contaminated as a result of these polluted water.  Some of the worst affected areas include Padaviya, Siripura, Medawachchiya, Kebithigollawe, Mahawillachchiya, Thanthirimale, Eppawela, Medirigirya, Welikanda, Aralaganwila, Welioya, and Girandurukotte.  It is estimated that over 20% of the adults and ~40% of children in some of these areas are afflicted by consuming contaminated water.

 A number of research have shown that cadmium, fluoride, iron and lead are present high concentrations in the water sources, soil and even in the “ƒ”¹…”nelum’ (lotus) rhizomes and “ƒ”¹…”Thilapia’ fish in the affected areas in NCP.  Research has also shown that the weedicide propanil and the insecticide chlorpyriphos are present in water in affected areas.

 Amongst the chemicals found, lead is one of the most toxic substances as it causes, low IQ, mental health problems and kidney disease.  Long term exposure to weedicides and insecticides also causes chronic disabilities such as kidney diseases.  To make matters worse, some of the essential elements and micronutrients such as iodine are markedly insufficient in the diets in many of these areas. 

 Many people live in these areas suffer from a multitude of chronic diseases including kidney and liver abnormalities, mental health problems and developmental disabilities of children (lower IQ) due to heavy metals such as lead and cadmium contamination of water supplies.  Consumption of food and water contaminated with pesticides and lead to multitudes of ill health.  Unfortunately, children are the most seriously affected from these toxic substances; but adults too develop chronic diseases and subjected to premature death.

 There is no question that people lives in these provinces should be provided water free from chemicals and toxins; so as those who live in cities are provided. They too have the right to have safe and clean drinking water supply.  Fundamental steps must be taken by the government, for profit as well as non-profit organizations to A). Identification of contaminated areas (i.e., formal water testing), B) Provisions of cost-effective filters or other technologies to clean drinking water supplies, and to C) Set up a long term plan to provide pipe born cleaned water supply to everyone in the long run.  In the interim, it is the government’s responsibility to arrange to transport safe drinking water to these communities on daily basis or install deep tube-wells.  Any plan also must have built in methodologies to prevent water contaminations (e.g., pesticides) and provision of toilet facilities. 

 It is essential that government should arrange to have regular water testing and the provision of filters as a routine measure at this time.  Another parallel approach is to encourage villagers to consume extra amounts of fruits and vegetables containing anti-oxidants, which may mitigate at least in part some of the negative biological effects of these contaminants and toxins in people. 

One Response to “Clean Water Free from Toxins: A basic Human Right for Inhabitants: Public awareness message from Patriotic Sri Lankans”

  1. Priyantha Abeywickrama Says:

    Thank you for your unwavering concern for the hapless Sinhala populace suffering in silence, unlike some migrants (including some of those labelling themselves even as expatriate patriots) living abroad who work hand in hand with aliens to import alien products and ideologies while preaching vadi bana to develop the country. I find that the illegal outfit running the country is directly responsible for this disaster by its commissions and omissions. Illegally sanctioned wide scale use of artificial chemicals for farming, food processing, cleaning and other industries that we have no natural ability to dispose of, has become a major health calamity for our people. Instead of the intellectually advanced Sinhala methods, kill-it-to-solve-it and never-bother-about-tomorrow kind of measures invented by world famous mass murderers are being used without giving a hoot about the health or the long-term effects on life. Many unscrupulous criminals operating businesses under licenses offered by the criminal regime is causing so much damage to our biological systems, we may face much worse threats in the near future. As the long term effect of these chemicals are not even considered, the damage may be even irreversible. Though it may be easy to remove natural contamination using natural processes, removal of these dangerous chemicals has proven to be almost an impossible task. Instead of pleading with the traitorous gang of criminals who contributed to this carnage, it may be time to act independently and to take our own initiative to help these people.

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