Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Mahinda Amaraweera said allocation of Rs. 1 billion for de-sedimentation and restoration of lagoons from the next year’s budget should be commended.
The Minister says the measure will provide a significant assistance to fishermen families as well as increase the annual inland fish production.
According to the Minister, there are around 10,000 reservoirs in the island. Many of them are filled up with sediment and hold less rain water now. The reservoirs need to be dredged and de-silted to restore to the old form to help contain a larger volume of water than at present.
As a result of the sedimentation, even during light rain the reservoirs overflow and during short drought the reservoirs dry up, the Minister explained.
He said this is the first time money has been allocated to restore the reservoirs.
According to the budget proposals presented to parliament, during 2018, the Government will invest Rs. 1 billion in 10 lagoons namely Negombo, Rekawa, Puttlam, Jaffna, Batticaloa, Nanthikadal, Nayaru, Chilaw, Mundalam and Andikulama Lagoons.
Such investment will be directed towards cleaning the lagoons, increasing the carrying capacity, supporting the existing livelihoods of fisherman and Research and Development.