SOCIO-ECONOMIC BACKGROUND OF THE HEAD AND TRANSITIONAL REGIONS OF THE KELANI RIVER BASIN, SRI LANKAM.G.Y.L. MAHAGAMAGE AND PATHMALAL M. MANAGE
Kelani river basin covers nearly seven districts and 36 divisional secretariats including twenty main sub basins. The present study was aimed at understanding the public awareness about water quality in the Kelani river basin through questionnaire survey. In this context, information was recorded from head and transitional regions of the river basin using questionnaire survey whereas the background information of the river basin was collected from relevant government authorities and published research articles. A total of hundred participants were interviewed for the survey and other related information was taken from Central Environmental Authority (CEA), Survey Department and Department of Census and Statistics in Sri Lanka. Results of the study revealed that, majority of participants were with good literacy and most of them drink spring water (53.8%), 20% consume well water and the rest consumed national or village level water schemes for their drinking requirement. Among them 44.3% consume boiled water, especially in spring water consumers and 28.3% of the community drink water without any treatment. It was found that 70% of respondents used garbage pits to dump their domestic waste and release waste water directly to their own land or small tributaries nearby within the premises of the river basin. Live stock production of the river basin is cattle milk, buffalo milk and egg and the average production of each was 47000 l/day, 12500 l/day and 25500 eggs/day respectively. According to the CEA, Kelani river basin consists of around 9000 industries and the highest number of industries are located in Gampaha District. Kelani river provides many more benefits for in habitants who live within the river basin. Therefore, controlling or minimizing impacts on the river basin is necessary. Unless immediate control actions are taken, pollution of both ground and surface water may cause severe problem in near future.
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