In Sri Lanka to support the small-scale farmers in the region of Matale, Hakmana and Puttalam get access to clean drinking water, a project under the ‘COVID-19 Fairtrade Emergency Initiative’ was implemented by Fairtrade International. Through the Project, water purifiers were distributed by NAPP to 200 Fairtrade farmers (143 male and 57 female) benefitting 879 households in the community.
This Project is funded by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and supported by GIZ, German Agency for International Cooperation .
The water purifiers were requested by the 02 Fairtrade Producer Organizations- St Anne’s Coconut Producer’s Organization (Guarantee) Limited in Puttalam region; FLO ID 34613 and Sustainable Agri Farm Enterprises Network; FLO ID 28356 in Matale and Hakmana region for providing safe drinking water to the farmers and their families with children and to the workers who assist in the farming activities.
The paddy fields in the Matale and Hakmana region is contaminated with chemical fertilizers. The toxic fertilizers applied in paddy fields seep into the groundwater, thereby polluting the soil and the underground water which is one of the main sources of drinking water in the region. In the Puttalam region, the farmers receive tap water with high chlorine content for drinking from the regular water supply. The water purifier can remove the chlorine, chemicals, pesticides, heavy metal, and bacterial contaminants and provide clean, hygiene, and quality water to the farmers and their communities. Drinking clean, filtered water is important for the farmers to protect themselves from all the bacterial and water-borne diseases, to build a stronger immune system, and to maintain an overall energetic and well-balanced life.
H W Sriyani, a woman farmer at SAFENET has been farming for the past 30 years. Her family gets their daily water supply from the well water which is pumped into their storing tank. About 5% of their daily water supply comes from tap water.
With a family of 05 members, she is especially concerned about the health of her children and aged parents. Sh mentions, ”Here the majority of the farmers use well water which is at the same level with the paddy field that is contaminated and has the potential to adversely affect our health. Even the tap water that comes through the water supply is high in chlorine content. The water filter will provide us drinking water with a better taste and smell. It will remove any unsafe materials from our drinking water and help the farmers and their families get access to clean drinking every day without a worry.’’