On the 12th November 2017, our day started off early in the morning with a gathering of ten amazing Rotaractors, together with Mr. Alwis and his son. It was to execute the first phase of the river bank conservation project “Ganga Addara”. This session falls under the project “Marathon towards Greenery”, which has multiple sub-projects that address some of the key concerns related to environmental conservation in Sri Lanka. By around 9.00 a.m., we commenced our journey, directing towards Agalawatta.
With the guidance of Mr. Alwis, who currently works as a Regional Manager at Timber Corporation, we first visited Baduraliya forest office, which belongs to the Department of Forest Conservation, in order to collect the plants. Officials in the department were very helpful and they provided us their office vehicle to transport the plants and other tools, such as mamoties, spades, and axels.
The rest of the day was really amazing and energetic. We had a wonderful breakfast offered by a generous villager with Manioc, Polsambol, Bread, Dhal curry and Sri Lankan dry fish fried curry. After a small drive, we moved towards the upper-reaches of Kalu Ganga in Ilukpotha area, with a handful of plants. The atmosphere of the area was quite amazing. It was cool, with a bit of gloom and a bit of breeze. There were no words to explain the vibes we felt when we were surrounded by gushing water streams and trees.
Before commencing tree plantation, the officer from the Department of Forest Conservation Mr. Rathnayake addressed the gathering, explaining the importance of the area and the project. After a while, our environmental director, Rtr. Danushi Liyanage started the event by planting the first tree of the day. Following her, all the other participants worked hard to plant fifty trees beside the river. By taking the initiative in riverbank conservation, Rotaractors managed to plant fifty trees of three varieties, namely Kumbuk, Nadun and Mee in the upper catchment areas of Kalu Ganga in Agalawatta.
At the end of a well-spent day, we concluded the first session of the project “Ganga Addara”, resembling the true meaning of theme for the Rotaract year 2017/18, “Together We Paint the Shades of Earth”.
By Rtr. Dulanji Amaraweewa