The Ambalantota Divisional Secretariat informed that the removal of 300 families, who according to them are illegal dwellers in the Walawe river reservation area, from the area was the solution to the preservation of the river and its water resource.

The reservation is near the Ridiyagama boundary.

Ambalantota Divisional Secretary, H. Thialakawardhana added that the majority of the families possess no deeds to the lands they occupy, he further added.

According to an evidence-based research survey conducted by the relevant Government Agent (of which there is pictorial and video footage), waste from the temporary houses/homes including waste from toilets too is released to the river thereby contaminating the water to the point that the water is unfit for drinking, he explained.

“Along with the Survey Department and the Department of Irrigation, we are currently demarcating the boundaries. Issues will arise when it comes to the removal of these human habitats, settlements and constructions. They are presently living on and close to the edge of the banks of the river. The denizens are engaging in various business activities. These moves are part of the Walawe river conservation project,” he noted.