Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Kalpitiya islands are sinking

Posted by The Editor at 11:01 PM

Kalpitiya, the peninsula which separates the Puttlam lagoon from the Indian Ocean sits picturesquely bordering the north western coastal beach. With its 20 surrounding islands it is a beautiful stretch of land.
Unfortunately, some of these islands have gradually begun sinking in the face of sea erosion.
Wella, Palliyawatte and Battalangunduwa, with about 1,000 families settled on them and are among those which have begun rinking.

Newton Lowe, an islander and a fishing net owner said he has been living on Palliyawatte island for more than 30 years. According to him decades ago the island covered an area of around 20 acres of coconut land.
Today these lands are no more. Chairman of the Ocean and Coastal Resources Conservation Foundation, Upali Mallikaarachchi said human activities led to the destruction of mangroves, coral and limestone layers which prevented sea erosion.

The results of this activity has led to the sea encroaching into the islands he said. He said, it was important to preserve the natural beauty of the area and have temporary settlements such as cabana's on the islands while permanent structures should be situated on the mainland.

The Palliyawatte Island covered an area of around 20 acres of coconut cultivation
The same island... with the sea licking at the door-step
The destruction of mangroves and limestone rock has led to massive sea erosion
Merchants buying up the catch
Our picture shows how the sea has made its way inland
Dried fish, a by-product of the fishing industry, at a wadiya.



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