WE DID NOT LEARN LESSONS FROM TSUNAMI AND NOW ARE WE READY TO LEARN FROM FLOODS ??
Posted on May 21st, 2016

Dr Sarath Obeysekera

Tsunmai came and went taking many lives and destroying houses built along the   coastal belt , cleared of all unauthorized houses

Government hurriedly imposed a 100 m rule not allowing any construction within the reservation

Moratuwa, Pandaura ,Galle beaches were cleared of shanties and buildings and disturbed the livelihood of the people

It is over 10 years and we are back to square one as all the beaches have again being encroached

When sea erosion starts due to development in western beach front and Colombo ,it will  and start destroying these houses again due to the aftereffects .

politicians will start pondering into the cause of the problem ,make some adhoc decisions and forget about the whole episode with no follow up

Have we  learnt any lesson ?

I wrote many articles and opinions regarding the current rain water flood situation and remedies as well as suggestions to control the situation.

I do not think any of the bureaucrats and law makers ever read and try to find a solution and root course.

It is like a cold and virus flu   you get every year and you take some drugs to cure and it comes back every year  .

In England they investigate these new vector  deceases every year and  derive a new injection to all the citizens call it Flu Jab” and provide free of charge

Similarly when flood comes all of us provide food and shelter and soothing words and then forget the root course

Filling of Marshy  lands and paddy lands started during the boom after 1977 with reclamation and construction of new parliament and employing Dutch companies to carry our dredging and filling, is the beginning of the Colombo Floods

1000 acres left for retention  in Colombo is now reduced to 600 acres and obviously Colombo has to get flooded and there is no way out

We just have to live with it and now stop filling of marshy lands with strict rules and laws imposed to deter the culprits ( most of them are politically affiliated )

Water level of  Kelani River level rising and flooding the downstream due to heavy rain upstream ,is causing floods which is taking over 4 to 5 days to subside ,caused by the inability of rain water to fall into the sea thru the river outfall .

We have our shipyard near the Kelani outfall and I was watching the wave pattern at the outfall  from the breakwater and noticed that waves bypassing or pushed along the new  south break water of the harbour is causing  10-15 high waves and blocks the water out fall from the river and sand banks are formed ,preventing water outflow into the sea.

I noted that tons of muck and debris flowing along  Kelani river ( Bamboos ,trees banana trees etc)  falling into the sea were not taken away to mid sea but ended up in the shipyard  ( previously Modera Fishery Harbour)  and covered our shipyard harbour basin !

High waves caused by wind  guided along new south harbour breakwater was violently  diverted and  pass Kelani out fall ( blocking the water outflow of the Kelani River)  and hit our break water ,and almost washed away the slipway where we are building a big barge

I had to secure the barge firmly to prevent sinking as the base slipway was being washed away

If and when the Port City is completed ,situation along on North side of Harbour will worsen .

I am confident that such flooding will happen due to high waves and sand bank formation blocking   storm water outlets of Kotte and Colombo at Wellawatta ,Dehiwala ,Panadura and Kaluthara .

During every heavy SW monsoon we will be facing his problems forever not only in North Colombo but also south of the Colombo including Kotte area .

It is high time that state acquires all the lands within 50 meters  south bank  of Kelani river towards Kaduwela and build a dam with flood gates

OR

We let the SW monsoon every year washes the sins” we have committed and keep blessing the whole country.

OR

As the PM mentioned in a speech recently that breaking coconuts by JO may have caused the floods .

Suggest to impose a new law to make breaking coconuts illegal !!!!!

 

Dr Sarath Obeysekera

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