Celebrating 5 years of providing essential support to farming communities in Sri Lanka’s dry zone, diversified multinational conglomerate, Hayleys Group announced the expansion of its flagship clean drinking water initiative Hayleys’ ‘PuritasSathDiyawara’ into the Uva Province with plans to establish five new Reverse Osmosis (RO) plants to supply over 50,000 litres of urgently required clean drinking water to communities affected by the Chronic Kidney Disease.
Since it was first commenced in 2014, PuritasSathDiyawara has positively impacted the lives of over 33,000 Sri Lankans in 19 villages in the North and North Central Provinces. During that time, the programme successfully supplied more than 160,000 litres of clean drinking water per day.
“For half a decade, Hayleys has had a dedicated team working on maintaining and enhancing the lives of our SathDiyawara communities. When this programme was initiated, there was a real fear that this disease could reach epidemic proportions for farming communities in the dry zone. These are people who feed our entire nation and yet the threat of CKDu was an extremely real and present danger for them. Many of those we spoke to were too afraid to even be tested for the disease because they had seen the terrible impact it had on others in their community.
“In the five years that have passed, we have been able to supply clean drinking water to these communities consistently, and as a result, we are happy to note that at present, no new cases of CKDu have been detected in any of the 19 villages where our model has been established.
“We can, therefore, state with confidence that PuritasSathDiyawara has been extremely effective, and helped to give these communities new hope and access to fresh opportunities in terms of education and livelihood development. This is the same type of success which we hope to replicate for communities facing a similar plight in the Uva District,” Haycarb PLC, Managing Director, Rajitha Kariyawasan stated.
In total, Hayleys Group has invested over Rs. 64 million towards the SathDiyawara initiative. These include investments in RO plants, as well as water distribution networks through bowsers and multiple docking stations strategically set up to ensure equal access to clean drinking water for all members of its SathDiyawara Communities. Further, Rs. 13 million has been invested in the provision of academic essentials for school children in recent years.
Regular surveys are conducted to maintain the quality of the plants, with the income earned through the sale of one litre of clean drinking water at Rs. 1 by the Community Based Organisation (CBO) pumped back into the CBO for maintenance and development of the villagers.
“The SathDiyawara initiative initially focused on providing clean drinking water to areas that were affected by CKDu. However, it has evolved to encompass initiatives taken towards uplifting and developing these communities through investments in education, livelihood development and the establishment of new libraries and internet access centres, so that children in these communities have a chance to enhance their education,” Kariyawasan explained.
Over the years these initiatives have evolved into a structured programme under the banner of ‘PuritasSathDiyawara: Going Beyond’. Over the recent past, the programme has provided invaluable assistance to over 7,500 school children in rural communities, through the distribution of essential school supplies during 2017-2019 academic years. The programme is expected to continue for the 4th consecutive year for 2020.
PuritasSathDiyawara: Going Beyond also provides targeted assistance to young Sri Lankans facing obstacles in their education, providing direct assistance and support for them to pursue their studies, and higher studies on a case by case basis.
Puritas, a subsidiary of Haycarb PLC and a member of Hayleys Group, was also presented with the World Energy Globe Award 2017 in Water Category in recognition of its efforts to provide quality drinking water for Sri Lankans living in the areas affected by CKDu. The initiative was also recognized at Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Awards (AREA) for three consecutive years from 2015 – 2017 for the wider impact it has created on the communities.
Over 140 years, the Hayleys Group has grown with a global presence of manufacturing and marketing offices across five regions with business interests spanning a total of 16 sectors. Today, it stands out as one of Sri Lanka’s most prominent success stories, having been the first listed Sri Lankan corporate to surpass $ 1 billion in revenue catering to over 7.6 million customers worldwide, providing direct employment to 32,000 Sri Lankans, in addition to providing indirect employment to over 20,000 people and accounting for 3.3% of the Sri Lanka’s total export earnings.