A training program as part of the USAID funded project “Safe Disaster – Resilient Drinking water to floods and Drought Prone Areas of Sri Lanka” was conducted from the 29th to 31st of August at the Raincenter in Pelawatta on rainwater harvesting and groundwater recharge. The aims of the training program were to strengthen the capabilities of disaster-prone communities, institutionalise Disaster Risk Reduction policies and educate on practices related flood and drought management. Forty-Three participants from NGO’s, Government Organisations, Universities, the Industrial and Agricultural Sector successfully completed the training.
During the opening ceremony, Ms. Danielle Reiff, Director, Governance and Vulnerable Populations Office of USAID stated that “Water, when it is abundant, is life” and further iterated that “Rainwater harvesting as a technology is making an important contribution” with regards to ensuring that communities have access to safe drinking water. Thanking USAID of supporting LRWHF and its training programmes, Mr. A. C. M. Nafeel, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of City Planning and Water Supply added that “The major gift we receive is rainwater” and “when the rain falls, we see how people ignore the rain”, stressing the importance of taking an active role in harvesting rainwater, thereby securing our water needs.
Eng. Duleep Gunawardana, Dr. Tanuja Ariyananda, Prof. Sisuru Senanayake, Prof. C. S. de Silva, Mr. M. M. M. Aheeyar, and Eng. M. D. Karunaratna covered basic concepts as well as technical aspects of rainwater harvesting and groundwater recharge, citing case studies and sustainable urban development goals for the cities of tomorrow. Coupled with a field visit to the MIT campus, Malabe, and practical assignments, the participants were encouraged to voice their opinions and ask questions with regards to the topics discussed. At the conclusion of the training, certificates were awarded. Lanka Rain Water Harvesting Forum would like to thank the attendees, presenters, and USAID for their participation and support.