Japanese experts present report to the President

The Japanese Experts Group presented their report on Meetotamulla Garbage Dump to President Maithripala Sirisena today (April 24) at the President’s Official Residence in Colombo.

Head of the Experts Group, Mitsutake Numahata handed over the report and made a power-point presentation explain the recommendations of the group. He said as a short term measure, the garbage dump should be stabilized to ensure there would not be further collapses. Before the onset of the monsoon the shape of the dump should be streamlined and the base should be covered with polythene. As a secondary measure, the shape of the dump should be made symmetrical with a broad base to ensure proper distribution of the gravity.

The experts group also proposed long term measures to remove the dump by adopting 3-R system of reduce, reuse and recycle.

President Sirisena thanked the Japanese Experts Group for undertaking a comprehensive study within days of the disaster and said that the Japanese expertise would be useful to solve the major issue of garbage in Sri Lanka. He pointed out that although the Meetotamulla disaster began as a human tragedy, now the garbage has become a political issue. He said the need for a lasting solution to the issue and sought continued support from Japan for this endeavour.

Ministers Susil Premajayantha, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and Patali Champika Ranawaka and Japanese Ambassador Kenichi Suganuma were also present on this occasion.

Brief outline of the Japanese Assessment Report

  • Assessment of the Site in Meethotamulla
  • Possible cause of the collapse
  • Safe management of the site
  • Measures for stabilization in short term and longer term
  • Exchange of technical views with GOSL relevant authorities such as:
  • Ministry of Disaster Management, Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Government, Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, Ministry of  Mega polis and Western Development and etc.
  • Observation of the Karadiyana dumping site

Technical Recommendations: Short term measures for Meethitamulla

Short Term measures: Safety management and prevention of secondary disaster

  • Warning system based on rain fall is critical
  • Maintain dump shape in the short term
  • Do not change the shape of waste layers. Shape waste layers only stabilization of the dump is confirmed through all the monitoring indicators. It will take time.

Technical Recommendations: Mid-Term measures for Meethotamulla

Mid- Term measures : Stabilization of the site through comprehensive approach

  • Gas control and water drainage
  • Leachate  control and treatment
  • Assessment of soil modulus of dump
  • Shaping dump into stable slopes

Technical Recommendations: Medium & Long term measures

According to our experiences, in addition to construction of landfill site, it is necessary to have

  • Waste segregation
  • Introduction of intermediate treatment such as waste incinerator
  • 3R (Reduce, Reuse & Recycle)

The recognition of solid waste management costs

  • Public awareness and consultation.

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