Ford Motor Company and its local distribution partner, Future Automobiles (Pvt) Limited, in collaboration with World Vision Sri Lanka recently launched a rainwater harvesting project in Polonnaruwa.
The project aims to establish year-round access to water for 100 beneficiaries in Welikanda, Polonnaruwa through effective rainwater harvesting replenishment systems. This project will enable the utilization of rainwater that would otherwise go to waste and instead provide year-round access to water for these communities through suitable water catchment areas.
The project is expected to meet three key objectives. Firstly, is the establishment of a Rain Water Harvesting systems (RWH) and replenishment systems for a network of 5-6 households to obtain year-round access to water. Regular maintenance of the RWH systems will be ensured via the creation of family groups, where one person from each group will be assigned to form Community Based Organization (CBO’s). Training and creating awareness on rainwater harvesting will be carried out while communities will also be introduced to renewable energy mechanisms in the form of solar-powered pumping systems. The second objective of the project is the focus on the replenishment of groundwater through suitable well or over ground catchment area to ensure sustainability for retaining the ground water during the drought season. Thirdly, is the formation of renewable water consumer societies among the family groups and the training of operational maintenance of solar powered rainwater harvesting systems.
“Today is a new chapter in our partnership with World Vision which goes back several years. The availability of water throughout the year is a vital aspect to the well-being of these communities. Given that Welikanda is an area with a harsh drought season, it is imperative that we make the best possible use of rainwater. The Rain Water Harvesting system combined with the use of renewable technologies such as solar-powered water pumping systems, will enable the community to sustainably manage their water requirement,” stated Chamath Tennekoon – Chief Executive Officer of Future Automobiles.
Expressing his views on the tie-up, Dhanan Senathirajah – National Director of World Vision Lanka stated, “World Vision Lanka is committed to serve the most vulnerable communities in Sri Lanka. We are extremely grateful to Ford for partnering with us in our work. Last year their partnership brought clean water to over 200 families in one of the poorest communities in Vaharai. We are very excited to partner with them once again on a similar project for a vulnerable community in Welikanda.”
Over the past few years, Ford has supported numerous projects and causes in Sri Lanka under the Ford Conservation and Environmental Grants program. These initiatives have helped support and reward the actions of individuals, groups and non-profit organizations to conduct research and projects which help preserve the environmental well-being of their communities and provide solutions contributing to a sustainable planet. In 2015, Ford partnered with World Vision Lanka for a water and sanitation project in Vaharai, Batticaloa District. In 2014, as part of this initiative, Ford awarded a US$ 20,000 grant to the Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka (FOGSL) while in 2013 two organizations – The Tree Society of Sri Lanka and the Wanasarana Thurulatha Swechcha Society – were awarded agrant of US$15,000. Similarly, in 2012 the “Fire Prevention in Knuckles Forest Reserve” project received US$10,000 to implement their proposals. Most recently, Ford collaborated with Japan Emergency NGO (JEN) to complete three innovative agricultural projects which directly benefits over 50 families in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts.