Navy removes saltwater barrier in Kelani River to face possible flood risk

Sri Lanka Navy on 13th and 14th May 2020 took steps to remove the saltwater barrier that had been erected in the Ambatale area across the Kelani River, to protect people from the floods that were likely to occur with the onset of heavy rains.

The saltwater barrier has been temporarily erected using sandbags in the Kelani River to prevent seawater from intruding the Ambatale water treatment plant and to maintain the constant supply of water required for drinking and gardening in Colombo area, when the water level of the Kelani River drops. With the beginning of torrential rains the Navy sprang into action to remove this barrier as it could pave the way to swell the water level of the river. The removal of this saltwater barrier will reduce the risk of flooding in low-lying areas, following the heavy rainfall received by the catchment areas of the Kelani River these days. A group of Navy divers attached to the Western Naval Command was directed to execute this task. After hours of strenuous effort, the team successfully removed those sand bags.

The Navy, which has been playing a vital role in COVID -19 prevention campaign, is already implementing a number of programmes to protect people from floods that may occur with increased rainfall in the days to come.