Environmentalists informed that 300 families in the area, farmlands and housing, adjacent to the Lakvijaya coal power plant in Norochcholai were suffering from respiratory and eye diseases due to coal dust and fly ash.

The Environment Conservation Trust (ECT) observed that the coal dust and fly ash, which are stocked near the Ocean and eventually comes towards the land due to the Ocean winds during the warakan season when the Ocean is rough due to giant waves, had also affected the farmlands in the zone and region.

Director of the ECT, Sajeewa Chamikara highlighted that no one in the area could dry their clothes out in the open, adding also that due to the activities concerning the transportation and placing of the coal near to the shore, fishermen in the surrounding oceanic area had ceased their activities, thus resulting in fisher folk’s families being affected.

It is reported that the Centre for Environmental Justice led by its Executive Director, Hemantha Withanage has even produced a report on the matter.

“Small children, pregnant mothers and the elderly are suffering from respiratory conditions. Small children and school going children are suffering from eye ailments due to the fly ash. The coal dust and fly ash have seeped into the agricultural crops resulting in destruction and losses, which have even coated the domestic electrical appliances with a film of coal dust and fly ash,” Chamikara pointed out.

It is reported that it has even become difficult for the denizens to cook their meals. The villagers are in need of more permanent solutions than spraying water and/or sand on the mounds of coal dust and fly ash.  (RLJ)