Experts and professionals in environmental conservation and management pointed out the lack of a proper policy and a mechanism for implementation with regard to sewage and sewage disposal in the country.
Professor in Environmental Conservation and Management at the Department of Zoology and Environmental Management of the Faculty of Science of the University of Kelaniya, Prof. M.M.M. Najim said that while many households had toilets, it was the lack of a disposal mechanism that was the issue.
Poverty and not having suitable land were some of the reasons why there are no toilets for some, he added.
“Encroached on lands in low lying areas, which are plenty in areas such as Gampaha, Kelaniya, Peliyagoda, Kolonnawa and Wanawasala, are not suitable for housing,” he noted.
Guidelines laid down by the Sri Lanka Standards Institution for the setting up of toilet pits and the disposal of sewage are not adhered to as there is no proper mechanism in place for such, he explained, adding that as such, sewage was disposed of in an unhealthy manner.
“Those living in rocky areas such as in the Kurunegala Municipality area cannot have a toilet pit as one cannot dig a pit in a rocky area. In water logged, high water table and high water level areas one cannot flush toilet waste. Only a very few do not have toilets because they are unaware. In reality, very few have septic tanks. What they have are soakage pits,” he said.
R L J