'No Kunu' - A massive citizens' campaign to clean Beira Lake

‘No Kunu’– a massive citizens’ campaign is set to be launched to clean up Colombo’s Beira Lake located at the centre of the commercial capital of Sri Lanka. There have been numerous complaints over the years that the Beira Lake – built by the Portuguese during the 16th Century is at the centre of Colombo’s environmental and health problems. Calls for a comprehensive initiative by the state to clean up the lake and its surrounding areas fell on deaf ears for several years.

It is in this context that the ‘No Kunu’ campaign has been launched by Sumi Moonesinghe, a prominent business leader, with the support of various private business establishments situated along the canal banks and surrounding the Beira Lake; and the relevant government authorities namely the Presidential Secretariat, Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), Urban Development Authority (UDA), Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation (SLRDC), the Sri Lanka Navy, Ports Authority and the Police.

The first clean-up programme under the ‘No Kunu’ initiative will take place on Saturday, July 21 in Colombo. Under this programme, volunteers will clean the designated parts of the canal banks in their vicinity, with the support of designated CMC officials, ‘NO KUNU’ team members, Navy and Environment Police officers. In addition to that, the water surface of the canals and the lake will be cleaned by the Navy and the SLDRC while CMC and Abans workers will support these teams.

The wind dried waste would be sent to the Kerawalapitiya garbage collection point with the guidance of the Urban Development Authority (UDA). Plans are afoot for dredging and deeper cleaning of the Beira Lake and canals, after the superficial cleaning of the Beira lake on Saturday (21).

Commenting on the initiative, Moonesinghe said the cleaning would not sustainable until the country a lasting solution to the problem of illegal dumping of sewage in the canals.“This can only be done by the active involvement of relevant government authorities and citizens,” she explained, adding that ‘No Kunu’ campaign will turn out to be a rallying point for concerned citizens, intellectuals and businesses to work towards a better future for Sri Lanka’s commercial capital.