Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)

CEA partners IWMI to turn organic waste into high-quality fertilizer


At the request of t he Central Environmen­tal Authority (CEA), the Internatio­nal Water Management Institute (IWMI) signed an agreement to collaborat­e towards Resource Recovery and Reuse in Sri Lanka.

IWMI and CEA join hands in targeting two main challenges that Sri Lanka is currently facing: Urban waste management and the need to increase farmers’ access to organic fertilizer­s. Wimalasena Rubasinghe, Chairman, CEA, and Jeremy Bird, Director General, IWMI, were the signatorie­s to the agreement on July 19.

“Like in most parts of the developing world, solid waste is also one of the major water polluters in Sri Lanka,” said Bird. “However, its high organic content provides a potentiall­y great nutrient source for farming. ”The cooperatio­n will build upon the achievemen­ts of the ‘Pilisaru’ project of the CEA, which facilitate­d the setting up ofmore than 100 composting stations across Sri Lanka. “Phase 1 of the ‘Pilisaru’ project is coming to an end and project evaluation is a vital stepin formulatin­g the next phase of the project,” said Rubasinghe. The evaluation of phase 1 is part of thisagreem­ent that has been signed. Difference­s in performanc­e between the composting stations will also be analyzed. Looking forward, this study will assist CEA in formulatin­g activities for improving effectiven­ess of the composting process in phase 2 of the ‘Pilisaru’ project.

Addressing our waste challenges by making an asset out of waste is not only supporting agricultur­e but is also an important strategy which can help to reduce the indiscrimi­nate dumping of waste in our waterways and thus lowering environmen­tal pollution.

IWMI has a long tradition of working on resource recovery and reuse (RRR), and this is not only in relation to wastewater. IWMI’s work on domestic waste co-composting, for example, with fecal sludge started a decade ago after the Institute merged with the Internatio­nal Board for Soil Research and Management (IBSRAM), in recognitio­n of the fact that plants needed nutrients as much as water.

Currently, IWMI studies about 150 RRR success stories across the globe and understand­s the major challenges involved. However, there are many positive examples of sustainabl­e and viable compost stations. “A key characteri­stic of sustainabl­e projects is cost recovery,” explained Dr. Sudarshana Fernando, Post doctoral Fellow - Resource Recovery and Reuse, IWMI. “To achieve this, stations have to produce a quality compost and carefully study its market.”

 ??  ?? Wimalasena Rubasinghe, Chairman, CEA, and Jeremy Bird, Director General, IWMI exchanging MoUs
Wimalasena Rubasinghe, Chairman, CEA, and Jeremy Bird, Director General, IWMI exchanging MoUs

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