Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a fast-growing killer in the Northern part of Sri Lanka and one way to battle it is through the provision of clean drinking water. Identifying this as a grave problem, the PINA organisation has taken up the challenge to provide purified drinking water to various Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown aetiology (CKDu) affected areas, kicking off its project from the beginning of this year. PINA was established as a Non-Governmental Organisation in 1988 under the name ‘PINA HILFE fur Sri Lanka e.v.’ with the assistance of a few colleagues from Germany. In 2011, this was incorporated and approved as a charitable organisation by the Sri Lankan Government under the Parliament Act No. 25.
Speaking to PINA President Dr. Anura Abeygoonewardana and Vice President Ananda Jayasekera, Daily Mirror learnt that the organisation is now focusing on people who are suffering from CKDu and CKDu-affected areas in the Northern and North Central regions of the country. The project is a Reverse Osmosis (RO) Plant.
In line with President Sirisena’s concept and supporting the mission of donating RO Plants to produce pure drinking water, the first plant was established in Padaviya Mahasen Maha Vidyalaya in Anuradhapura on January 2 this year. The plant produces 10, 000 litres of pure drinking water per day and has benefited as much as 1,200 children and 700 families in the area.
The second plant, which will be inaugurated tomorrow by President Sirisena, is located at Minneriya Nagalakanda Navodya Maha Vidyalaya. It will provide thousands of students with pure drinking water in a bid to make their lives healthier. Several officials from the government and PINA, and representatives in Europe and the Sri Lanka Navy are expected to attend this milestone.
Mr. Ananda Jayasekera (left) and Dr.Anura Abeygoonewardana (right) Pic by Waruna Wanniarachchi
Dr. Abeygoonewardana and Mr. Jayasekera explained, “The RO Plants, funded by PINA, are built and installed by the Sri Lanka Navy. Several donors and well-wishers from Germany have also made financial contributions to this project. The Sri Lanka Navy is doing a commendable job by supporting such plants. They will also provide necessary services or repairs, and a Navy officer will take care of the management of the plant.”
Furthermore, Dr. Abeygoonewardana expressed his views on future projects. “In 1991, PINA initiated in building a primary classroom for Sigiriya Maha Vidyalaya and 27 years later, it hopes to refurbish the structure. In addition to this, as the third RO Project, a special plant will be erected at the same venue in Sigiriya which will provide purified drinking water to 1,200 students, 4,000 families and most of the tourists who visit Sigiriya on a daily basis.
A RO plant takes natural, polluted water from the ground and purifies it through a special filtering process. It is far better than normally purified water from the water board as it extracts unwanted particles thus giving the actual water capacity.
Dr. Abeygoonewardana and Mr. Jayasekera said, “We chose to focus on a project based on CKDu-affected areas because it is the need of the hour. We need to focus on the concept of getting people out of CKD. It is a recognised threat which the government has formed a task force against. We also wish to make the younger generation a healthier one and will act to reduce the death toll caused by this malady.” PINA has focused on a variety of humanitarian and development projects in the past. It can count up to donating approximately 320,000 spectacle frames and medical equipment worth over a staggering Rs. 82 million. PINA has carried out a number of construction and renovation projects and has distributed 2,150 wheelchairs, 500 walking chairs, 1,700 pairs of clutches, 2,200 tents and a variety of quick aid following the Tsunami disaster. Also, the organisation has won a Transparency Award in Germany.