Sri Lanka’s Marine Environmental Protection Authority (MEPA) received eight BeachTech Hydro Sweepy beach cleaning machines valued at approximately US $ 180,000, donated by the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, based in Singapore. The donation was officially handed over by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Admiral, Professor Jayanath Colombage, to the Minister of State for Coastal Conservation and Lowland Development, Mohan Priyadarshana de Silva, and to the President of the Marine Environment Protection Authority Dharshani Lahandapura at a ceremony held yesterday.
A press release issued by the Foreign Ministry said: BeachTech Hydro Sweepy beach cleaning machines manufactured by Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug AG, a company in Germany, are capable of effectively cleaning plastic nurdles and other types of waste . Another advantage of the machine is that the cleaning of the beach can be carried out in a safe manner while minimizing human contact with hazardous materials.
These machines are expected to help clean up plastic waste from the X-Press Pearl ship, which sank off the west coast of Sri Lanka in May 2021, causing significant environmental damage. The donation was coordinated by the Sri Lankan High Commission in Singapore.
Initial discussions on Alliance assistance were held virtually with the participation of Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Singapore Sashikala Premawardhane, Director General / Ocean Affairs, Environment and Climate Change, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hasanthi Dissanayake, Director General from the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) Dr Terney Pradeep Kumara, and representatives of the Alliance Vice President of Projects Nicholas Kolesch, Head of Outreach and Education Kim Stengert, and Head of Business government and public Ravi Alfreds.
The coordination effort to bring the machines to Sri Lanka involved officials and the Sri Lankan High Commission in Singapore, the Sri Lankan Consulate General in Frankfurt, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MEPA and SriLankan Airlines. SriLankan Airlines President Ashok Pathirage agreed to transport the machines from Frankfurt to Colombo free of charge and Sri Lankan Airlines Regional Director Mohan Meegolle supported the coordination of the airlift arrangements.
The Sri Lankan High Commission in Singapore thanks President and CEO Jacob Duer and the Alliance team for their assistance with the Sri Lankan beach clean-up efforts.