Uma Oya project’s trail of destruction: Who turned a deaf ear to objections from environmentalists?

With many still recovering from the trail of destruction left behind by the recent devastating floods and landslides, hundreds and thousands of people from 12 districts in the country, are now being battered by severe drought.

One of the main contributing factors for the lack of rainfall is the damage caused to the environment.

The Uma Oya issue has currently become a main talking point due to the harm caused to the central mountainous region, which is a key catchment area.

Could this issue have not been identified beforehand?

Couldn’t the environmental feasibility reports prepared before the commencement of this project, foresee this destruction?

Environmentalists and locals in the area voiced their objections to the initial phase of this project when it was launched five years ago, due to the environmental harm it brings along with it.

Work on the project went ahead, paying no heed to the environmental  impact,  on the basis that short term issues could crop up for a long term programme.

This has resulted in a massive leak in the tunnel which is being constructed under the Uma Oya project.

This was the response given by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies of the University of Sri Jayawardenepura, Prof. Swarna Piyasiri, who headed the team which compiled the project’s Environmental Impact Assessment Report


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