~ Sath Diyawara reaches a total of 18 villages, providing 33,000 people with 130,000 liters of drinking water, daily
Continuing to expand to create a positive impact on the nation’s growing CKD concern, the Hayleys Group’s – Puritas Sath Diyawara endeavour has now extended its clean drinking water project with two more Reverse Osmosis plants. One plant was recently installed in Meegassegama, Thalawa, sponsored by Alumex PLC The second plant was installed in Pahala Kedithokkuwa, Nochchiyagama, sponsored by Hayleys Agriculture, where in addition to the RO Plant, a mixed cultivation of fruits and moringa was also initiated with the expertise of Hayleys Agriculture, in the 1 acre land owned by the CBO (Community Based Organization) of Pahala Kedithokkuwa. Both villages were also gifted with a knowledge hub, each consisting of computers with internet access and a library.
These projects are the second villages which both Alumex and Hayleys Agriculture have committed to, thereby further strengthening their long-term pledge to this cause.
Speaking at the event, Managing Director of Alumex PLC, Mr. Rohan Peris commented, “This is the second Sath Diyawara village which we have adopted. As part of the Hayleys Group, we strongly believe in how Puritas Sathdiyawara has benefitted these marginalized people, and we have seen firsthand, how providing clean drinking water to CKD afflicted areas has resulted in reduction and reversal of the illness. This encourages us to continue investing in this cause to save more affected lives as well as the lives at risk.”
Addressing the gathering, Ms. Jayanthi Dharmasena, Deputy MD of Hayleys Agriculture stated that Hayleys Agriculture is committed to uplifting rural livelihoods of the community, and that this initiative is an extension of their holistic CSR strategy. Mr. Rizvi Zaheed, Managing Director, Hayleys Agriculture commenting on the project, stated, “While this is the 2nd RO plant which we have commissioned, we have also added to the initiative by supporting the livelihood of the villagers by sharing our expertise and knowledge on agricultural best practices to support them with the cultivation of fruits and moringa on an acre of land. We will continue to support Sath Diywara which is our Group’s flagship CSR project.”
The village of Meegassegama in Thalawa, is home to 2500 people with 76 confirmed CKD patients. While Pahala Kedithokkuwa in Nochchiyagama with a resident population of over 2,097 has 60 CKD patients. Both villages face one common problem – lack of clean drinking water and a growing number of people suffering from Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) of which collectively over 200 cases are under investigation for suspected CKD.
Each village was fitted with a Centralized Water Treatment plant, including a Plant house, an RO treatment system with a capacity of 10,000 liters a day and water storage cum distribution tower. And a water distribution and delivery mechanism consisting of two wheeler tractor pulled bowser (of 1, 000 liters) and 10 docking stations of 1, 000 liters each.
Elaborating further, Managing Director, Haycarb and Puritas, Mr. Rajitha Kariyawasan added, “Since 2014, Sath Diyawara has grown to become a highly sustainable and long-term endeavour which has reaped very clear results. We now provide over 30,000 people with 130,000 litres of drinking water a day. Our single-minded focus lies in eradicating CKD. But we are also consciously supporting these villagers whose grim conditions are exacerbated not only by this debilitating illness but also by drought, dry arid conditions and harsh weather, including floods, which deny them of basic access to drinking water, for day to day survival.”
Speaking on the initiative the Community Based Organisation (CBO) Secretary of Meegassegama, Thalawa, Wijerathne commented. “This gift of life which we have received today signifies a renewed hope for our future. While CKD is a huge concern with more and more CKD patients being diagnosed in our villages, we have also suffered through the severe lack of quality drinking water. We have to travel miles and miles to collect water, which to most is just a basic amenity, but to us is a luxury which we only dreamed of.” Wijerathne is a disabled soldier who lost his leg in the war. He continues his service to the country even after being disabled, as the Secretary of the CBO, which is done on a voluntary basis without any remuneration. The Hayleys Group is humbled to be able to lighten the burden of this hero and his fellow villagers.
Hayleys installed its first Reverse Osmosis (RO) plant in Maithreepura, Padaviya, one of the villages worst affected by CKD. Since 2014, the Hayleys Group has installed 13 Reverse Osmosis (RO) water purification plants across four districts covering eighteen villages. Access to clean drinking water has proven to be the only known long term remedy for CKD, with the alternative being an organ transplant.
Commenting on the commitment to clean drinking water, the Chairman of the Hayleys Group, Mr. Mohan Pandithage said, “We have visited a large number of villages in the North and North Central provinces, working at the ground level to identify the most severely affected villages. We have gone above and beyond what we originally set out to achieve, through the Puritas Sath Diyawara program by additionally supporting the communities with livelihood development opportunities. These two villages have suffered through the lack of drinking water and a rise in CKD affliction. When I look around and see the hopeful faces of these beautiful children and their families, I feel blessed that we have been able to transform their lives and give them hope for a better, healthier future.”
To date Puritas Sath Diyawara has provided clean drinking water to over 33,000 men, women and children across eighteen villages in the North and North Central provinces since 2014. Each project is sponsored by a Group Company, and to-date the Hayleys Group has invested more than Rs. 56 million in this initiative. It consists of formalized water distribution network through a bowser and multiple docking stations throughout the village to ensure all villagers have equal access to purified water. Surveys are conducted on a regular basis to monitor the benefits of this initiative.
Sources : Ada Derana