Socio-ecological review of Bolgoda Lake in Sri Lanka
Dr. Sepala Samarasekara
Sri Lanka is a beautiful island surrounded by the sea, also our country is worldwide famous as a country rich of Bio-diversity. It is the richest country in South Asia when consider the Bio-diversity. However this position is going down gradually. Bolgoda Lake, rich with Bio-diversity flows through Moratuwa in Colombo district. But it is being polluted at present due to the Carpentry industry. This research is both explanatory and analytical to survey how the collapse of Bio-diversity affects the environment, the issues related and also the solutions for them. In order to collect information from the chosen area a questionnaire was used as a sub document of the interviews. Those documents used to collect information from householders, businessmen who own saw mills and carpentry shops and state officials. In addition to used observation too. Also a laboratory test was done to check the nature of the water of The Bolgoda Lake.
Bolgoda Lake area is mainly a Sinhalese settlement. The majority of the people are Buddhists. Most of the residents have completed education only up to GCE (O/L). The most of them have been in this area for more than fifteen years. Carpentry industry is the most prevalent and main employment in Moratuwa. It was further observed whether there is a relationship between carpentry industry and environmental pollution. Most people consider waste from carpentry industry such as saw dust and wooden chips as garbage. Water of Bolgoda Lake hasn’t been used for drinking for the past 25 years. Laboratory test was indicating that carpentry industry is mainly responsible for the pollution of waters in these areas. So it can be said that Bio-diversity around Bolgoda Lake has declined in the present. This situation can develop further. It is essential to have a proper program to enlighten people about their unsystematic use of the lake, and to attend employments environmentally friendly manner.
There are some important suggestions introduced by people who living this area. They say that certain place and a proper system should be introduced for discharging saw dust. And saw mills and huts should be covered to avoid spreading saw dust. Workers in the factories must wear safety masks. Most of the people accepted that saw dust and wooden chips can be used for a worthy cause. There were several suggestions of using saw dust and wooden chips in large scale advantageously. To produce new kinds of boards (MDF etc) and to use for brick and tile kilns, to produce manure as an alternative for chemical manure, To produce heat electricity by burning them, etc. It can finally be said, with the association of state and private sector organizations and with the help of the residents, a systematic project should be introduced to protect Bio-diversity and environmental balance.