Community Engagement for Plastic free Environment

SEVANATHA is currently implementing the Municipal Waste Recycling Program (MWRP) supported by USAID/ DIG of USA and monitored by Dehiwala Mount Lavinia Municipal Council in the Western Province of Sri Lanka–2017/2019..

About the Project:
The Municipal Waste Recycling Program (MWRP) is USAID funded and the Development Innovations Group (DIG) executed initiate to address the global problem of marine pollution, with a focus of Asia. According to the recent studies, Asian countries are responsible for more than half of the mismanaged plastic waste in the oceans. The program is thus focused in identifying scaling innovation that improve solid waste management (SWM) and recycling practises in three Asian countries ie; Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam. In the first round calling for proposal for MWRP in early 2017, three partner organizations were selected from Sri Lanka and SEVANATHA is one of these partners engaged in implementing the MWRP in Dehiwala Mount Lavinia Municipal area (DMMC) which is located in the adjoining to the city of Colombo Sri Lanka.  DMMC is densely developed, environmentally sensitive urban area having about 250,000 population which generate apprx. 242 metric tons of waste per day. Due to the deficiencies in current SWM system in DMMC a considerable volume of plastic waste is discharged in to the environment contributing to the marine pollution too.

The primary goal of the Project;
Is to create a Responsive Civil Society works in partnership with the local government to prevent discharging of polythene and plastics waste (PPW) into marine environments. The other expected objectives of the project includes are;

  • To understand the current practises of PPW disposal system in DMMC area.
  • To identify the private and informal sector waste collectors in DMMC area and assist them to improve their operations.  
  • To raise awareness among canal front communities to prevent direct disposal of waste into the canal and surrounding environment.
  • To raise general citizens’ awareness on the impact of improper disposal of P&P waste including the rising ocean pollution.

Expected Outcome

  • Target communities  practising  source separation waste
  • Improved capacity and efficiency of P&P collectors
  • New waste traps are installed in project area which reduce flow of PPW into the ocean
  • Reduction of P&P waste in Landfill site.
  • Increased women participation  community waste management
  • Community Waste Bank are set up in canals and beach front communities
  • Contribute to the Capacity improvement of  DMMC waste management system

Project Monitoring
The project is monitored by Development Innovations Group (DIG) and Dehiwala Mount Lavinia Municipal Council (DMMC). The DMMC has appointed a Project Review Committee (PRC) Chaired by the Municipal Commissioner/Deputy Municipal Commissioner with Heads of Municipal Departments, a Representative of Waste Management Authority of Western Province, Central Environmental Authority and the key members of SEVANATHA project team. The PRC conduct meetings once in two months. And provide necessary assistance to the SEVANATHA.

Project Team

MWRP of SEVANATHA consists of a Project Manager, Two Technical Staff, 12 nos. of Community Mobilizers and 02 nos. of Accounting Staff (Part Time). The project team is guided by Mr. K. A. Jayaratne, President of SEVANATHA and Senior Technical Advisor of the project.

Discharging plastic waste into the ocean

Field familiarization by SEVANATHA Project Team

Introducing the CMs to the staff of zonal Offices in the project area/Training for CMs at SEVANATHA office

HH survey conducted by CMs in the project area

Community Awareness Meeting at Badowita settlement

Community Awareness Meeting at Beach side settlement, (Aurburn Side)

PRC Meetings at DMMC Office