Sri Lanka Celebrates World Habitat Day 2019 “Frontier Technologies as an Innovative Tool to Transform Waste to Wealth” in Battaramulla.
7th October 2019, Battaramulla, Sri Lanka. The main National event to celebrate Word Habitat Day 2019 was held in Sri Lanka at Ape Gama in Battaramulla, Colombo District. The Chief Guest at the celebration was Mr W D Ailapperuma, Senior Adviser to the Minister, Ministry of Housing and Construction.
The United Nations designated the first Monday of October of each year as World Habitat Day to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right of adequate shelter to all. The Day is also intended to remind the world that we all have the responsibility and the power to shape the future of our towns and cities. Each year, the World Habitat Day takes on a new theme to bring attention to the mandate, the vision and the mission of United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).
The national event organised by the Ministry of Housing, Construction and Cultural Affairs in collaboration with the National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) focused on the World Habitat Day 2019 theme, Frontier Technologies as an Innovative Tool to Transform Waste to Wealth. The event was attended by 600 guests, including senior officers of the Ministry of Housing, Construction and Cultural Affairs, and NHDA, and representatives from urban, housing and housing finance sector institutions. Addressing the gathering, Mr Bernard Wasantha, Secretary, Ministry of Housing, Construction and Cultural Affairs, highlighted the importance and relevance of this year’s theme. He also stated that the Ministry of Housing, Construction and Cultural Affairs has been at the forefront of World Habitat Day since 1986. He expressed his appreciation to all agencies and institutions for their dedication in making this event a success.
Ms Thanuja Dharmasena, Gender and Environment Adviser, and Officer in Charge of Communications, reading the message of UN-Habitat Executive Director, stated that the World Habitat Day offers a unique opportunity to rethink of how we can all make a real change in the cities and towns we live in, and overcome the challenges that are being faced each day to improve the lives of everyone. The 2019 theme, Frontier Technologies as an Innovative Tool to Transform Waste to Wealth is built on last year’s theme, Municipal Solid Waste Management that primarily focused on managing garbage. The emphasis of this year’s World Habitat Day is promoting the contribution of innovative frontier technologies to sustainable waste management to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 11, namely, inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities. Going beyond solid waste, this includes solid, liquid, domestic, industrial and commercial, generally, all waste produced by human activity which continues to have a devastating impact on climate change, threatening the health of our planet and its population.
The winners of the Swashakthi Self-Employment Motivation Programme, and local school children who won essay and art competitions were handed over certificates, awards and cash prizes. The event was liven up with dance presentations by dance groups from NHDA and the Department of Cultural Affairs.