The thrust of the report

Posted Thursday April 02, 2015 by Hazel Durbridge

Today it was environment (the value of mangrove swamps) and a visit to a shrimp hatchery (excellent example of public-private partnership). I had to give a progress report to HRH Mrs Charles. I continue the little power struggle with Thaya since he came back from his training on full male assertive throttle and gave me a little discourse on how he thought I should be doing this plan.   He relegated Kritina back behind the graduate trainee desk which upset me as I liked her translation services better. I slept on it and bit back yesterday, but we’ll be OK so long as I don’t have to go over him. It is not my remit to deliberately rock the boat.

I have 3 main thrusts to the report at the moment – water management which has to be looked at in a regional context as water flows in from outside the district, the rural poor because unless they sort out sustainable livelihoods their infrastructure will not develop as these families can’t pay for houses, electricity, water, roads etc, and convergence. Interesting you used that word today. I think it’s a UN buzz word at the moment as all the NGO workers are using it. The context I am working in is convergence between NGOs and government. The NGOs are operating at a higher skill level and need to integrate better with government workers and facilitate their development, not so much in the big areas like agriculture and fishing, but culture, sport, co-operative development. The draft has to be ready in 4 weeks.

The other bit of my brain that isn’t thinking about the development plan is thinking/ taking action about jobs. I am focused


Batticaloa District is an amazingly beautiful area with a diverse ecosystem – the lagoon, irrigation tanks, forest, mangrove, beach, ocean, grass land, shrub land, paddy field and wet lands etc. These ecosystems are coming under threat and need to be protected and managed sustainably.

The following are threats to the environment

  • Poor solid waste management and lack of commitment leading to indiscriminate dumping
  • Destruction of the mangroves along Trinco Road from Pilliyarvady to Sathirukondan
  • Siltation and encroachment of wet land
  • Salt water intrusion in to paddy land
  • Over exploitation and untreated waste water going in to the lagoon
  • Encroachment and blockage of natural drainage systems such as thona
  • Destruction of coastal casurina at Talavi, Sooraiyadi and Savukadi.
  • Overuse of agrochemicals
  • Untreated effluent from rice mills passing in to thona at Meerakurny, Michnagar and Iyankerny.
  • Illegal gravel and sand mining at the coastal area of Thalawai and Sarukkady
  • Unauthorised building in the coastal area
  • Illegal prawn farms
  • Soil erosion

Batticaloa District Development Plan DRAFT 2013

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