By Chandra Jayaratne –
I kindly invite the persons addressed by this open letter, to take a walk in Colombo these days when there is no rain; specifically walking along the many drains situated alongside the roads, which normally carry rain water and waste water. I am sure you will find them filled mostly with leaves of trees and other compostable material; and at times other biodegradable material and regrettably even some times along with polyether bags and other plastic material.
You will thus be able to realize why and how, heavy rain fall, even over short periods, cause city flooding; risking both motor accidents and damages to roadways, property and inconveniences to business enterprises and households; which occur so often, as regularly revealed in media exposes. You will also realize that extremely cost effective strategic change management action by the Colombo Municipality and civic conscious action by householders and businesses can easily mitigate all of the above risks.
It is suggested for your collective consideration the following corrective action to mitigate identified risks:
* CMC cleaning staff and garbage collectors be engaged one day in every week, to clean out the rain and waste water drains of leaves, other compostable/bio-degradable material and polythene/plastics material and appropriately dispose of them
* Build awareness and civic consciousness amongst householders and business enterprises on the need to regularly clean and appropriately dispose of all leaves, other compostable/bio-degradable material and polythene/plastics material if present in the rain water and waste water drains inside the premises and also in and around their premises.
* CMC Inspectors to check routinely on their regular inspections in order to ensure due compliance of above by CMC Staff and householders/businesses
* Enlist the support of environmentalists, civil society groups and corporate social responsibility committed businesses, to join the CMC in the awareness building and in promoting civic conscious actions of householders and businesses
I look forward to collective committed action making our City more livable and with much reduced risks.