Thalawathugoda Wetland in the heart of Colombo
Over 50 school students and 30 university students visited the Thalawathugoda Wetland in the heart of Colombo to learn about the importance of wetlands in the city as part of World Wetlands Day celebrations. National TV and newspapers reported on the event which was also attended by senior government officials. Matthew Simpson gave a short presentation on how Colombo’s wetlands provide clean water, protect the city from flooding, cool the city and highlighted their importance in terms of wildlife such as the Fishing Cat, Otter and many other wetland species that can still be found in Colombo. This was a follow up trip from previous work in Sri Lanka on the Colombo Metro Urban Development Project. You can read more about this in our previous news article.
Staff from the University of Colombo, the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation’s Wetland Management Unit and the Navy gave up their free time to lead outdoor learning activities demonstrating water quality sampling, soil surveys and water level measurements. The students also had a chance to travel through the wetland in small boats. Matthew led a session on aquatic insect diversity and how it can be used to assess water quality and demonstrate how wetlands in the city are cleaning up pollution.
Each student was presented with a special commemorative World Wetlands Day mug for their attendance. At the end of the day a student gave a thank you to the organisers and said they had all learnt that wetlands are crucial for the future life of the city and all the students can reduce their impact on them through stopping pollution and that they must play a role in protecting them for the future.
It was a fantastic day and an honour for WWT Consulting staff to be a part of it and help raise awareness of how vital wetlands are for life in Colombo.
“The students learnt that wetlands are crucial for the future life of the city”