The wonder of Asia. From huge rocks in the middle of forests, to herds of wild elephants and rolling hills, Sri Lanka has plenty to offer the nature lover. You will find a wide range of ecosystems here. There are coastal beaches, dry forests and rain forests . There are foggy hills and mountain ranges. There are lakes big and small, and also tons of tea plantations.
Sri lanka has undergone rapid industrialisation. with the liberalisation of the economy ,energy consumption has increased. Meanwhile the population of the county has rapidly increased. And the result of this type of economical development is the increase in environmental pollution in Sri lanka.
The purpose of this article is to bring into focus the various aspects of Environmental pollution relevant to Sri Lanka.
The major forms of pollution include air ,water and land . In present times, noise , light and plastic pollution are also gathering huge attention from the environmentalists.
Lets talk about air pollution.
In accordance with the World Health Organisation's guidelines the air quality in Sri Lanka is considered moderately unsafe .
Most recent data indicates the country’s annual mean concentration of PM2.5 is 11 µg/m3 , exceeding the recommended maximum of 10 µg/m3 .
Air pollution is a serious environmental problem in Sri Lanka's major cities such as Colombo and Kandy.
Air quality in Sri Lanka can be affected by vehicle emissions, waste burning, the agricultural industry, and petroleum refining. Available data indicates that Colombo can experience high levels of air pollution! Motor vehicles continue to be the most significant contributor to air pollution .
Besides this Air pollution causes Asthma , Bronchitis and the more dangerous lung cancer , specially in the metro cities .
The contribution of greenhouse gases towards global warming is well known . Potential sources of greenhouse gases include paddy fields , animal farms , forest clearing and their burning , petroleum combustion and other industrial activities .
Pollution of water is a serious problem faced by the world today . Millions of people in the world die every year from water borne diseases such as , cholera , typhoid , and diseases like hepatitis and amoebic dysentery .
Despite having relatively good water resources as a whole, Sri Lanka is prone to water problems.
The main water resource problems in Sri Lanka are due to various human activities such as agriculture, fossil fuel combustion, urbanisation, and industrial and commercial activities.
In the agricultural sector , farm water is the main cause of water pollution. Due to the rainwater being allowed to drain into nearby water sources on farms, such as sedimentary lakes and rivers, water pollution is increasing day by day in Sri Lanka. Excessive use of fertilisers can also lead to algae production and this will lead to Drinking water contamination ,Damaging to the water cycle etc .
In a developing country like Sri Lanka, groundwater cannot withstand expensive purification processes, and therefore “prevention” of pollution is the most cost-effective method of control.
The matter got worse to Sri Lankan's. On 20 May 2021 X-Press Pearl caught fire off the coast of Colombo Sri Lanka..
Sri Lanka’s Marine Environment Protection Authority has warned that acid rains would possibly hit the island nation due to the burning X-Press Pearl container ship in the waters of the Colombo Harbour . The X-Press Pearl was carrying 1,486 containers with 25 tonnes of nitric acid and several other chemicals and cosmetics . Additionally, tons of tiny plastic pellets have already washed up on local beaches nearby.
Many dead fish and turtles have been washing up on the shores of Negombo beach with bloated bellies and the plastic pellets stuck in their gills and bodies sparking further environmental concerns and also concerns about the livelihood of fishermen in the area.The ocean around Sri Lanka is a rich habitat for marine mammals such as whales and dolphins, so the impact of an oil spill will be disastrous .
In order to control environment pollution , the government of Sri Lanka has adopted principles like “Polluter Pays Principle”, to protect and improve the quality of our environment .
In case if you don’t know what is Polluter Pays Principle !
Polluter Pays Principle simply means that “ The polluter should pay “ , in another words , The person responsible for the pollution shall bear the cost of dealing with that pollution .
Did you know ?
Sri Lanka is home to approximately ninety-one species of mammals. Of these ninety-one, sixteen are ,endemic and can only be found in Sri Lanka while fourteen are threatened including the large Sloth Bear, the Sri Lankan Leopard and the Sri Lankan Elephant. Also Sri Lanka is home to 171 reptile species, the majority of which are snakes.
Apart from the environmental implications, deforestation in Sri Lanka has caused ill effects such as flooding, landslides and soil erosion from exposure of the deforested areas. It is also the primary threat to the survival of Sri Lanka’s biodiversity.
For many people in Sri Lanka, We’re just happy to litter wherever we are and with no concern about the environment or potential impacts to wildlife. You only need to walk on a beach or see the aftermath of a party or other public gathering in Sri Lanka to understand the scope of the problem.
To put an end to this mass pollution , we have to be the change . I believe the key here is “Discipline” . And we can do tremendous amount of good to ourselves and for the people who are around us by looking at our own inadequacies and our own flows and starting to build ourselves up as a more powerful individual . And if we are capable of doing that ,then we are capable of taking our place in the community as effective leaders , and make wise decisions instead of unwise decisions . It has to start with “ individual responsibility” ,before “Collective responsibility” .