Australians support CKDu stricken areas in Sri Lanka

1A major tragedy is unfolding in the villages in the North Central Province and in particular in the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa Districts due to the outbreak of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKDu), which has claimed many lives in the area over the past several years. Although the actual cause is unknown, it has been determined that water quality could be one of the main contributors to the spread of this disease. A combination of hardness, heavy metals, fluoride, agro-chemicals and pesticides influenced in the water are considered to be the most likely causes of this disease.

The Lions Club in Moorooka, Queensland, Australia, having understood the gravity of the situation, have joined hands with the Lions Club of Borella to launch a project to provide purified water to the villages in some of the affected areas. Towards this project Moorooka Lions Club raised over AUD 25,000 which was supplemented by an endowment of a further AUD 25,000 from the Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF). This funding was utilized to install two 10,000 Liters Per day (LPD) Reverse Osmosis (RO) plants in Kapugollawa and Gonameruwewa in the Anuradhapura District. Both villages were identified by the National Water Supply and Drainage Board. The two plants were vested in the ownership of the Community Based Organizations (CBO), in the presence of Mr. Warren Loose – President Designate of Moorooka Lions Club who was the Lion behind this service initiative. District Governor of Lions District 306B2, Lion S. K. Ravindran, members of Lions Club of Borella and well-wishers were also present at this occasion.

Additionally, Mr. Scott Walker, a philanthropist from Brisbane Australia, contributed over Rs. 8 million of private funding to enable the installation of Reverse Osmosis plants in 20 villages. This project was carried out in the identified locations with the assistance of the Lions Club of Medawachchiya (Kidney Care) and the National Water Supply & Drainage Board. The recipients of this generous act were most grateful for this much-needed contribution that would help improve their lives. Mr. Scott Walker, explaining his involvement in the project said, “I was aware that there was a problem in the North Central Province (NCP) and the Dry Zones of Sri Lanka.When I heard that the Lions Club had launched an appeal, I made a contribution. As I have an ongoing interest in Sri Lanka, I was very concerned about the plight of the villagers in the NCP and decided to personally arrange for Reverse Osmosis plants to be installed in 20 villages. Mr. William Deutrom and Mr. Jayaseelan assisted me in identifying the villages and also ensured that the installation was completed. After my visit and seeing the response from the villagers I have decided to provide a further 20 villages with purified water in the New Year.”

The Chairman of the Federation of Sri Lankan Organisations in Queensland, William Deutrom, who has been closely associated with the project, speaking about his experience and commitment to the CKDu clean water program commented, “CKDu was identified as a serious issue in Sri Lanka and this encouraged us to visit the affected parts of the country to identify villages that required assistance. In order to utilize funds provided by Australian donors we talked to a number of providers of RO equipment and selected ABC Trade and Investments as a partner based on their experience, their presence in the affected areas as well as their commitment to providing clean water to the villages. The involvement of the Australian community through Mr. Scott Walker and the Lions Club of Moorooka is very encouraging and we hope it would lead to more funding from the Australian people and Government as well. The Australian Government has been a generous contributor to Sri Lanka at the time of the Tsunami and, as the CKDu problem is similar in scale, a positive response from the Government and people of Australia would be most welcome.”

ABC Trade and Investment (Pvt) Ltd., one of Sri Lanka’s leading diversified business conglomerates  with interest in ICT, Healthcare and water purification solutions was selected as the official system supplier to this project. ABC T&I, as Official Distributor of PURE AQUA USA and EMTEC, installed Pure Aqua RO systems at the Lions project, while supplying EMTEC RO systems of capacities ranging from 2000 litres to 5000 litres to the 20 villages based on the village population density.

Mr. Jayaseelan, Director ABC Trade & Investments, was overwhelmed about his company being chosen as the supply partner, and very happy with the Australian initiate to come forward and assist Sri Lanka in her hour of need. He also emphasized on their experience with similar donors coming forward to help the needy. Some of the many such organizations ABC T&I has worked with include the Association for Social Development, World Vision, Foundation for Goodness, CCC Foundation, Korean International Corporation Agency, Vishavaparamee Foundation, Commercial Bank, HNB, Civil Defence Force, University of Moratuwa, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Rotary Club, Lions Club and theNetherlands Alumni Association Lanka. The company is experienced in installing over 2000 domestic RO Plants and larger plants range from 5000 LDP capacity. ABC T&I extend their service & support through their services centers in Colombo, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Kandy, Negombo, Matara, & Padavi Sripura.