Sri Lanka - Environmentalists concerened over beach nourishment projects

COLOMBO (News1st): A Rs 890 million worth government project to restore beaches in Sri Lanka, which is nearing completion has drawn concerns from environmentalists.

“In a few days this project will be completed,” Prabath Chandrakeerthi, the director-general of the coast conservation department said.

Artificial sand barriers will be built to prevent erosion along the four-kilometre long coast between Angulana and Mount Lavinia, and the two-kilometre long Calido Beach in Kalutara, under the project.

“This sand (to build these barriers) is mined from areas where there is a large amount of wildlife,” environmentalist Sajeewa Chamikara told News1st.

Project details show that a 70-metre long barrier between the coast of Angulana and Mount Lavinia, and a 40-metre barrier in the Calido beach is being built by a Danish company which received the contract for the project.

“We could have used rock revetments to prevent coastal erosion. If we do so, we would lose both our tourism and fishing industries in the areas,” the coastal department’s director-general claimed.

He said the results reaped through this project would remain up to at least five years.

However, environmentalist Chamikara is adamant that the project is not sustainable as it would damage the environment, and would have to be done frequently at a huge financial cost.

See article.