The Nokunu Team, also known as the Guardians of the City, was established to spread awareness among people regarding the segregation of garbage and transforming Colombo into a cleaner city. Under the supervision of Sumi Moonesinghe, the mastermind behind this initiative, the Nokunu Team initiated its concept as a door-to-door campaign where they visited lower income families in the greater Colombo areas and educated them about the segregation of garbage.
Taking one step further in this campaign, the team together with various supporters recently succeeded in conducting a large scale clean-up around the Beira Lake. Following this success, the team is ready to take its initiative forward, educating the masses about the effective segregation of garbage. This September the team will visit the lower income families living along the waterways from Wellawatte, Pamankada up to Thalakotuwa Gardens, educating them about this initiative and effective garbage disposal practices.
This phase will begin from the SLLRDC Office, Stratford Avenue on September 1 at 7.30am.
Speaking to the , a member who has been involved with the Nokunu team since its inception said there are close to 250 less fortunate people living along these areas. “We are going to do a door-to-door campaign to educate them about segregating garbage. The Portuguese didn’t build these waterways for fun and we in turn have to keep them clean and take maximum use of them. In fact it is important to create awareness among people, so that they are consciously disposing garbage. If we go to a foreign country, we wouldn’t act the same way we act in our own country. We would think twice before throwing a toffee wrapper but here we tend to do it anywhere. I believe that people in big companies should take the initiative to reduce the use of plastic and produce items which are reusable and biodegradable,”the member said.
The waterways protect the city from flooding, but people carelessly dump garbage. Even for the slightest rain Colombo goes under water and therefore it is important that these waterways are cleared and are used more effectively. The waste from these canals and waterways end up in the lakes and eventually in the sea and it has now become a vicious cycle. The Nokunu Team receives continuous support from the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation (SLLRDC) which is involved in wetland management.
The Nokunu Team clears garbage
The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) too has extended its fullest support to take this initiative forward. Therefore they look into the cleaning and maintenance in these wetlands and waterways on a daily basis. In the case of the Beira Lake, the Army and the Navy do a daily cleaning round to keep the city away from its seasonal stench. Various stakeholders and companies based around the Beira Lake got their teams to do the cleaning around their perimeters and as many volunteers said, it was quite a pleasing experience.
Hence the Nokunu Team invites all interested parties and volunteers to be a part of its next phase. Volunteers are expected to bring their own ekelbrooms, gloves, mammoties, spades and other cleaning equipment.
SENA Wednesday, 22 August 2018 10:40
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