When I walked around the Homagama electorate yesterday and came home it was almost midnight. Feeling weary but not feeling well because we are among people. Having not been a politician for generations, I have had this experience for about a year now.
I meet so many wonderful people on this journey. I met such a lovely character yesterday
She is a mother of three children. Her job in a private company is to clear the city of garbage and clean the city.
She lived in a very small house. The house was not paved with clay but there were many shortcomings in the house.
When I came home yesterday I was wondering if I could do something for her. Finally I thought of one thing. How much we can value her efforts as a country.
She has to pick up rubbish on the street because we put rubbish on the road. What to do with garbage? Because there is no answer to the question. The garbage problem has become a real problem in Colombo. Rome is a country that has felt this problem more than us.
But there was a country that saw this garbage problem as an investment. That is Austria. Garbage collected from houses in Rome brought Austria to their city of Vienna by train. They used the waste power plant near Vienna, Austria, to convert it into energy.
The steam generated from them was sent to nearby power plants to generate electricity.
Is it still possible to believe that nearly one hundred and seventy thousand houses in the Lower Austria region are still lit up by garbage dumped in Rome? A similar process takes place in Japan. Even the ashes left over from the burning of garbage in the city of Saga, Japan are not discarded and used for cement production.
So..if Austria can, if Japan can, why can’t we in Sri Lanka..we need a proper program and a change of attitude. It would be a worthwhile investment if we could go for a program that could generate electricity from the burning of garbage in our cities and illuminate schools and places of worship in the city.
“All at once, one person can’t do it, but someone has to start.”
This will be a successful answer to the garbage problem that will be more of a problem in Colombo tomorrow than it is today, and it will be fair to the hard work of such loving mothers.
I am Eranda Weliange