Final Clean Water CKD Project Update

15 December 2015

The Clean Water CKD Project initiative was coordinated in Brisbane by the Lions Club of Brisbane Moorooka and in Sri Lanka by the Lions Club of Borella.

I am pleased to inform you that 21 villages in Sri Lanka now have access to pure drinking water as a result of the Clean Water Appeal initiated by Moorooka Lions Club in October 2014.  In total, $155,000 was spent on the project.  22 RO plants were commissioned from November 18th to November 22nd and handed over to the respective CBO's (Community Based Organisations) in the villages.  CBO’s are comprised of senior & respected citizens of these villages such as the chief priest of the temple & school principal, and these CBO's will be responsible for the administration, security & continuous operation of each installation.

The two largest village clusters of Kapugollewa and Mardanmaduwa in Horowapathana division, comprising 2200 residents, and Gonamaruwewa, Nelugollakada and Mahakumbukgollawa, comprising 2252 residents, are both in Kahatagasdiliya DS Division.  Each of these village clusters now has an RO plant installation capable of providing 10,000 litres of pure drinking water per day.  The plants were handed over with due ceremony on November 18th.   These two large plants were funded by your donation to the Moorooka Lions Club Clean Water appeal. 

The remaining 20 installations, which are much smaller and cheaper installations providing only 1,000 litres of drinking water per day to smaller populations (see attached schedule), have been installed mainly in remote areas (70 to 200km from Anuradhapura Town) where access is through thick jungle and by four-wheel drive only.  These installations were funded by the $100,000 donation made by Scott Walker- a Moorooka Lions Club project supporter.

Many more RO systems, too numerous to list here, have been provided by other organisations which initially heard of the need through the fund raising efforts of Moorooka Lions Club, and we thank Mr Bill Deutrom for his efforts in this area and also for identifying the most remote villages for RO installation under this project.

The WHO (World Health Organisation) standard of total diluted solids (TDS) to determine drinking water suitable for human consumption is 100mg of TDS per 100ml of water. The TDS measurement of the water in most of the villages where plants were installed showed readings from 600 to 1000mg of TDS per 100ml of water, whilst in the remote villages the water readings showed disastrous readings of up to 1600 mg per 100ml of water. These excess solids need to be flushed out through the human body using the kidneys and the excessive strain on the kidneys cause CKD.  The water output of the RO systems commissioned during November is only 20 to 50 TDS per 100ml

The current ground situation in the Anuradhapura is that about 200 more villages need pure drinking water.  The prevalence of CKD is estimated to be about 16-20% of the population (Anuradhapura District population is 856,000 as at July 2015 and the district covers a very large area of 718,000 hectares) with the growth of CKD prevalence doubling every 4 years up to 2012 (4% in 2004, 8% in 2008 and 16% in 2012). With the only remedy for CKD being dialysis treatment and kidney replacement, and with both these being unavailable to the population, (Anuradhapura hospital has only about 25 dialysis machines), it is in most cases a long and painful death for these CKD victims. 

On a positive note, the Sri Lankan Government is trying to address the situation by pledging Rs 6,500 million for 1,000 kidney dialysis centres in these CKDU areas and a further Rs 2,000 million to construct a hospital specialising in kidney disease management in Minneriya.  However, recently it has been observed that the prevalence of CKD is increasing at an alarming rate in the adjoining districts of Vavuniya, Polonnaruwa and Trincomalee, making the Government's task of addressing this problem daunting.

As this is my final update, on behalf of the Moorooka Lions Club, I wish to thank each and every donor for their contribution to this humanitarian need facing the people of Sri Lanka in the Anuradhapura District. Your contribution has helped us to provide sufficient purified drinking water to save the lives of more than 25000 Sri Lankan villagers.  I would like to add my personal thanks also, and to congratulate the Brisbane Sri Lankan community on a job well done!

Lion Warren Loos on behalf of the Lions Club of Moorooka 






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