Following the tragic aftermath of Meethotamulla, the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment has drafted a National Waste Management Policy. The initial draft presented by the Ministry comprises its overall vision, objectives and guiding principles. One of the main objectives of this policy draft is to focus on reducing waste and using waste as an alternative method of generating energy. This will equally add economic value to the new measures proposed in managing waste in the country.
EFL and other concerned parties such as industry representatives, government authorities, private entities and local authorities were recently invited to discuss and take part in workshops to elaborate further on the draft to make necessary amendments. Previously, EFL has voiced concerns and taken action (by filing a legal case) against the poor response received for Meethotamulla disaster management. Thus, a policy was introduced only as a response to the actions taken against by the EFL.
This draft is also by far the first to address solid, liquid and waste management and can potentially be the foundation to prevent further similar catastrophes reoccurring, due to the inefficiency of waste management in the country. While the policy intends to serve as a guideline for sectorial policies by addressing each stream of waste in detail and comprehensively, the realisation of it can only be followed by action plans in the foreseeing future.
EFL will continue to monitor its progress.