song of the waterfall
By Sachitra Mahendra
The Lanka Council of Waterfalls (LCWF), a non-profit scientific
organization is focused on the socio-cultural protection of the
country's wealth of waterfalls. They do this by making both Sri
Lankans and foreigners aware of this great asset, says LCWF President
Anura Nelugalla, Chief Engineer, Velioya project.
have several study areas, among them the life-style of the people
who live near the waterfalls, the flora and fauna, the economic
benefits, related myths and legends and the specific sounds of water.
measurements done by the Survey Department, the LCWF has been instrumental
in getting three Sri Lankan waterfalls listed in the 100 highest
waterfalls of the world. The three are Bambarakanda Falls, 241 metres
high, placed 48th, Kurundu Falls, 189 metres high, placed 58th and
Diyaluma Falls, 171 metres high, placed 62nd.
LCWF plans to draw international attention to the country's waterfalls
by conducting an international meeting on waterfalls by 2005. Recently
launched is a diploma course with lecturers comprising university
dons and professionals of the field like J.B. Disanayaka, emeritus
Professor of Sinhala and Dharmasiri Gamage, a veteran environmental
journalist. The syllabus includes an introduction to water, water
management, definition of water, the formation of a waterfall, geological
background, measuring methods, conservation, bio-diversity and economic
benefits. The four-month diploma is part time, held on weekends
and is open to anyone interested in the field.
LCWF includes a study centre as well as an information centre. Developed
countries utilize waterfalls to generate hydropower without affecting
their natural state. Sri Lanka however, being a developing country,
faces huge challenges in operating such projects with conservationists
objecting on several grounds.
have gathered that the occasional awareness programmes on the value
of waterfalls do not make any sense to poverty stricken people.
We need to teach them the value of waterfalls in a practical way.
When the number of tourists grows, they automatically start to sense
the growth of their economic state as well,” says Niroshana
Peiris, LCWF coordinator. The LCWF is planning to activate eco-tourism
projects, he added.
LCWF is also searching for waterfall related songs and have their
own theme song written by Dharmasiri Gamage with music directed
by Rohana Weerasinghe.
interested in the study of waterfalls should log on to their website
www.srilankanwaterfalls.org, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Their postal address is 7B Albert Perera Mw, Nugegoda.