(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Hemas Holdings PLC partnered with Clean Ocean Force totackle plastic pollutionin Jaffna by restoring Gurunagar, one of the most polluted fisheries landing sites and adopting “Point Pedro” beach, situated at the extreme Northern Point of Sri Lanka.
Hemas Holdings PLC becomes the first corporate to join hands with Clean Ocean Force as they step into the Northern Province and carry out daily cleaning operations, and community awareness and engagement to keep the Jaffna waterways free from plastic waste. The initiative will take place in two stages; removing the top layer of floating plastic, PET, and other floating pollutants and with the use of machinery and human labour remove plastics at the bottom of the lagoon. The project will enable community mobilisation and participation in making Jaffna a region free of plastics while driving economic development of the residents involved.
With the increased development activities taking place in the Jaffna District, the issue of plastic pollution has come to the fore, driven by the plastic waste that has been finding its way to the Jaffna lagoon, a vital piece of marine ecosystem sustaining the life of the Jaffna Peninsula. Major landing sites of fishing boats in Jaffna such as Gurunagar, Paasaiyoor, and Kachchai have been significantly affected with various forms of plastic waste including PET and single-use plastics and polythene being found in increasing quantities on the shores, posing a threat to both the livelihoods of the people and the marine wildlife, including endemic species of the region.
Clean Ocean Force has in place a Tri-Party agreement with the Department of Local government in Northern Province and Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA), while the project is monitored by the Hon Governor of Northern Province. Other stakeholders of the project include the Central Environment Authority, Coastal Conservation Department, Sri Lanka Police Environmental Division, Northern Province Tourism Bureau, Marine & Tourist Division of Sri Lanka Police, and many other voluntary organizations.