Waste management is a critical issue in Sri Lanka, with improper disposal causing environmental degradation and health hazards. To address this concern, Caritas Sri Lanka, in collaboration with USAID Clean Cities Blue Oceans (CCBO), is taking a significant step towards a cleaner and more sustainable Sri Lanka through the project: Stepping Stone to Safeguarding Sri Lanka’s Natural Environment Project (SSEP). On the 12th and 13th of October 2023, a remarkable Training of Trainers (TOT) program on basic waste management was organized with generous funding from Misereor, held at Caritas Chilaw Janasaviya to equip local leaders with the knowledge and skills needed to tackle the growing issue of solid waste.
Empowering Communities for Effective Solid Waste Management
The primary objective of this TOT program was to train selected participants from different regions in Sri Lanka, with the ultimate aim of initiating a comprehensive solid waste management strategy at the DC level. Through a unique strategy tailored to the local context, the program seeks to inspire and train the remaining DC members, effectively engaging local communities in sustainable waste management practices.
A Diverse Group Committed to Change
A total of 33 participants from Chilaw, Colombo, Kurunegala and Anuradhapura of Sri Lanka attended the TOT program, representing various communities and demonstrating a collective commitment to addressing the waste management challenge.
The TOT programme spanned two days and was structured around the following components;
- Waste management fundamentals: Participants were introduced to basic waste management, including the importance of proper disposal and recycling
- Local strategy development: Each group from Chilaw, Anuradhapura, Kurunegala and Colombo was tasked with developing a unique waste management strategy tailored to their specific local area
- Group Projects: Participants worked collaboratively to brainstorm and initiate local waste management projects under the guidance of a resource person
- Feedback and evaluation: The programme encouraged continuous learning and improvement, with participants receiving feedback and evaluation to enhance their abilities
Distinguished experts in solid waste management were instrumental in making this program a success
- Mr U.G. Ekanayaka: As a solid waste specialist in USAID CCBO Sri Lanka and Maldives, Mr. Ekanayaka brought his extensive knowledge and experience to the program, guiding participants on best practices and innovative approaches to waste management.
- Mr. Prabuddha Batuwatte: With a background as a Private Sector Engagement Advisor at USAID CCBO Sri Lanka and Maldives, Mr. Batuwatte shared invaluable insights on the role of the private sector in sustainable waste management solutions.
- Mr. Roshan Delabandara: Another Grant specialist from USAID CCBO Sri Lanka and Maldives.
National Director Rev. Fr. Luke Nelson Perera, Caritas Sri Lanka – SEDEC, provided guidance and support to the initiative, emphasizing the strong commitment of the Church to environmental stewardship. At the same time, – Country Director Nilanka Wijayanayake, Sri Lanka and Maldives, USAID CCBO, played a pivotal role in fostering collaboration and ensuring the program’s success.
The TOT programme marks a significant milestone in the journey toward a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable Sri Lanka. As these newly trained leaders return to their communities, they will carry forward the knowledge and expertise gained, catalyzing positive change in waste management and environmental conservation. Through such collaborative efforts, we can safeguard Sri Lanka’s natural environment and build a brighter, more sustainable future for all.
The same TOT programme is to be delivered to participants from Plantation and North & East Regions of CSL in the coming weeks.