Mr. P. Harrison, Minister of Agriculture, Rural Economic Affairs, Livestock Development, Irrigation and Fisheries and Water Resources attending to “Water Day” ceremony organized by the Department of Irrigation in parallel to the World Water Day pointed out that the use of agro - chemicals (pesticide, weedicide, and fungicide) has been reduced to 5000 MT following the banning of Glyphosate.
“Prior to 2015 8000 MT of pesticide had been used in the field of Agriculture and it has been reduced to 5000 MT with the banning of Glyphosate. We know that all those pesticides mix with our water sources. Therefore we have instructed to use bio – methods of pest controlling as far as possible.”
In urban areas including Colombo 22% - 25% of drinking water is being wasted. Preservation of water resources is very important. In the past villagers used canal water even for drinking purposes. But today we cannot do so because heavy metals are mixed with canal water which led to the contacting of non – communicable diseases including kidney diseases.
At present kalawewa has to be filled with water four times to cultivate paddy lands feeded by it. We could have avoided this situation had we used water economically. Parallel to the environmental degradation, water circle too has been changed. Which in turn lead to the on – going climatic change.
We use 12 MT of chemical fertilizer per year for agricultural activities. All those toxic substance are being added to soil and eventually leaks in to tanks and other water resources. Therefore it is our duty to preserve water in a sustainable manner.
Several high ranking officials of the Dept. Of Irrigation including Director General, Mohan Raj attended this occasion.