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Dettol spurs the nation with its ‘Clean Hands, Clean Nation’ initiative

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Friday, 12 April 2019 00:00


Reckitt Benckiser (Lanka) Business Head Sinclair Cruse handing over the partnership agreement with MEPA for the Dettol ‘Clean Hands, Clean Nation’ initiative to MEPA Chairman Rear Admiral (Retd) Rohana Perera 


Some of the volunteers from the Sri Lanka Navy, the Sri Lanka Scout Association – Negombo district, MEPA, various government officials and youth who took part in the four simultaneous beach clean-ups that took place signifying the commencement of the 2019 iteration of Dettol ‘Clean Hands, Clean Nation’ in Negombo

Seated from left: Sri Lanka Scout Association Negombo District Branch District Commissioner Lakshan Perera; Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment Environment Pollution Control and Chemical Management Division Assistant Director Sujeewa Fernando; Reckitt Benckiser (Lanka) Dettol Product Group Manager Tehan Samarasinha; Reckitt Benckiser (Lanka) Business Head Sinclair Cruse; MEPA Chairman Rear Admiral (Retd) Rohana Perera; together with moderators Vraie Balthazaar and Dinusha Piyadasa

Having maintained its influence in Sri Lanka for over 55 years, Dettol has established itself as a veritable household name; the brand furthers its hygiene promise with the 2019 iteration of the ‘Clean Hands, Clean Nation’ program, which is a three-pillared initiative, that focuses on proper waste disposal and management within Sri Lanka. 

Mahaweli Development and Environment State Minister Ajith Mannapperuma addressing the gathering

Due to injudicious waste disposal and management, a daily figure of 400 kg of plastic waste is generated within the country with one-third of this quantity being carelessly divvied up in drains, roadside areas and waterways, which pollute the soil and the ocean. Dettol’s hygiene message has always focused on the family and its immediate living spaces while also inculcating the global message of the importance of hygiene to the younger generation.  

“Dettol, which is one of Sri Lanka’s most trusted brands, believes in investing in society as a whole in order to make it a cleaner and happier place to live in while also carrying out socially-conscious initiatives to encourage a self-sustaining and environmentally-conscious community through its ‘Clean Hands, Clean Nation’ campaign,” Reckitt Benckiser (Lanka) Ltd. Business Head Sinclair Cruse said. 

Expanding on this generation-defining campaign that a great many stakeholders are putting their effort into, Reckitt Benckiser (Lanka) Dettol Product Group Manager Tehan Samarasinha stated: “This well-crafted campaign finds its core structure in three distinct pillars, which are designed to offer realistic and attainable goals, namely – prevention of marine and beach pollution, education of the community, and the facilitation of a cleaner Sri Lanka. It is these three pillars that promises the sustainability and achievability of this island wide campaign.”

The first pillar is where a conscious clean-up of Sri Lanka’s most polluted beaches will be spurred on with the placement of waste disposal bins. Along with the bins, clear signage and advisory boards will be placed across the beaches, urging the local community to be mindful of waste disposal and pollution. 

Moreover, Dettol will also construct river and canal strainers in order to limit the entry of solid waste into the sea. In addition to this, the brand will be pledging to fund 50 beach caretakers’ monthly wage across key locations, thereby extending their hands in support of the less fortunate within the local community. 

The second pillar serves to reach out to 100,000 children whereby the message of good hygiene practices that prevent the spread of disease, education in waste management, and overall environmental protection will be the main themes taught. In addition to this, Dettol will also reach out to the Sri Lankan public with this important message on various media platforms. 

The final pillar is one where the focus will reside in more interior areas of the island, such as towns, cities, intersections and streets. This effort will also garner the support of the local community to be more actively involved in cleaning and initiating garbage bin placements, along with programs of education. Joining hands with this initiative will be the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA). “We are glad to partner with Dettol on this initiative and to offer our expertise on the matter of marine and beach pollution. We hope to work in corporation with Dettol to identify problem areas in which focus is mandatory,” reiterated MEPA Chairman Rohana Perera. 

Other stakeholders include the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, which has been a steadfast companion since the launch of this initiative in 2017. Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment Assistant Director Sujeewa Fernando said: “We are glad that Dettol has taken the initiative to strengthen their efforts towards this cause and we will continue to play a pivotal role in these activities in 2019 and beyond. We look forward to offering support and guidance under the National Waste Management Policy of the country in improving waste management practices of Sri Lanka, by supporting the initiatives in distribution of waste management bins and input towards inland clean-up programs.”

Lastly, Sri Lanka Scout Association Negombo District Branch District Commissioner Jerome Lakshan Perera pointedly expressed: “The involvement of the scouts has two key objectives: one, where the new and younger generation of scouts who are potent change agents will assist in the execution of the ‘Clean Hands, Clean Nation’ initiative at grass-root level schools and districts; and two, where the sheer manpower potential of the Scouts will assist in carrying out annual activities throughout the island.”


Reckitt Benckiser (Lanka) Dettol Product Group Manager Tehan Samarasinha elaborating on the three pillars under which the Dettol ‘Clean Hands, Clean Nation’ campaign which will unroll in 2019

The waste collected from the Negombo beach clean-up

One of the many waste disposal bins which were placed along the beaches during the simultaneous beach clean-up

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