Water scarcity is the lack of sufficient available water resources to meet water needs within a region. It affects every continent and around 2.8 billion people around the world at least one month out of every year. More than 1.2 billion people lack access to clean drinking water, according to the Human Development Report (2006) published by the UNDP.
Lions worldwide have always put their shoulder to the wheel when addressing problems that need solutions to change the lives of communities for the better around the world and the ‘Water Project’ of the Lions Club of Colombo (Host) is one such project carried out in Sri Lanka.
The journey that started in January 2017 came to fruition on 1 October when the Lions Club of Colombo (Host) commissioned the Water Project that would provide pipe borne drinking water to over 2500 people (55 households) in Tudugala, Sobithagama.
The project consisted of building of a well, pump house, water tower and laying pipes to the 55 houses in the village. Though not originally included in the project the Lions also provided the required water meters to each of the households. The project was primarily funded by the Clifford Howarth Trust in the UK with the Lions Club of Colombo (Host) and the villagers of Tudugala contributing with additional funds, raw materials and labour.
The Water Project in Tudugala bears testimony to the unwavering commitment and hard work of the Lions Club of Colombo (Host) lead by Lions Dr. Ameer Zainudeen and Srimal Gallage who worked tirelessly to keep the project on track and schedule along with Paul and Sheila Tinning of the Clifford Howarth Trust who visited Sri Lanka in August and lived in the village of Tudugala to ensure that all went as per plan in terms of construction and administration of the project.
The technical assistance and supervision provided by the Water Board officials, of the area namely Kalyanasiri was invaluable and the villagers of Tudugala lead by Grama Niladari of the area Susiri Priyankara took ownership of the project working day and night to construct the water system that would ensure the supply of clean drinking water for their families.
The Water Project was formally inaugurated by District Governor of Lions District 306A1 Lion Wilson Wijegunaratne and Paul Tinning representing Clifford Howarth Charity Trust by unveiling the commemorative plaque. The water system was then activated by switching on the water pump and opening the tap of the water tower that would allow the water to flow to the 55 households.
Water was collected to seven pots and taken in procession to the village temple to bathe the Bo-Tree and after a blessing by the Head Priest, the contingent continued to the school hall to participate in a simple ceremony of felicitation organised by the Village Committee.
The ceremonies were held in the presence of a large number of villagers, prominent Government Officers, a large contingent of Colombo (Host) Lions/Lion Ladies and family members, as well as Past District Governor Lion Ganamini Sumanasena.
The Water Project in Tudugala is the second such joint project of the Lions Club of Colombo (Host) and the Clifford Howard Trust, UK. The first project was commissioned in Pannila in August 2014, together the two projects provide pipe borne drinking water to over 5,000 people.
Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service organisation with over 1.4 million members working towards the motto of ‘We Serve’. In addition to serving locally, Lions and Leos support five global service areas: Vision, hunger, the environment, paediatric cancer and diabetes. The Lions Club of Colombo (Host) is the first club in Sri Lanka which has been carrying out far reaching service programs since 1958. Follow them at https://www.facebook.com/colombohostlions/.