The British Council of Sri Lanka in partnership with Muslim Aid successfully completed the Active Citizens Social Action for Climate Change initiative in the Trincomalee District earlier this year. The overall programme entailed six unique projects designed to mobilize youth to take action against one of the greatest threats affecting the global population at present: Climate change.
The Six projects carried out under the Active Citizens initiative include: Kinniya Climate Resilience, Parijatham, Muthur Guardians, Tidy Tide, Diamond Model Village and Man Grow.
Kinniya Climate Resilience project aimed to create climate change awareness and promote social leadership among youth in Trincomalee. In that regard, a one-day workshop addressing crucial issues connected to climate change and resilience was arranged for senior students of Al Irfan Maha Vidiyalayam in Kinniya, where youth were urged to engage in clean-up campaigns, participate in tree planting and other remedial efforts.
The project Parijatham, carried out in the Potkeni Village, focused on poverty relief and environmental change. A volunteer for the initiative noted: “The villagers are dependent on home gardening and agriculture for their livelihoods. Devastating amounts of chemical fertilizers are used here in the interest of having higher yields. The project intended to incentivize organic agricultural practices and instill healthy eating habits among the community.”
Muthur Guardians carried out a ‘shramadana’ (clean-up) to eliminate algae and pollutants from water bodies in Nadutheevu, Muttur. According to a participant, extensive pollution in the region has resulted in a surplus of nitrogen and phosphorous causing algal blooms to spread at an alarming rate. Algal blooms produce harmful toxins, create ‘dead zones’ and hurt industries that depend on clean water.
Intending to minimize ocean pollution and plastic litter, the Tidy Tide project strived to raise awareness by organizing beach clean-ups and installing waste bins with the support of the Trincomalee Urban Council, volunteers, and residents.