Machinery worth 36 mn donated to aid in beach cleanups following X-Press Pearl tragedy
Singapore-based global non-profit, the Alliance to End Plastic Waste donated a total of eight BeachTech Hydro Sweepy beach cleaning machinery worth about US$180,000 or Rs. 36 million to the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) of Sri Lanka, the Foreign Ministry stated in a media release today (02).
Accordingly, these machines are expected to help with the clean-up of plastic waste from the ill-fated MV X-Press Pearl, which sank off Sri Lanka’s West Coast in May 2021 causing significant environmental damage.
BeachTech Hydro Sweepy beach cleaning machines manufactured by Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug AG, a company in Germany, are capable of effectively and efficiently cleaning up plastic nurdles and other types of waste. Another advantage of the machine is that beach clean-ups can be done in a safe manner, minimizing human contact with hazardous materials.
The donation was coordinated by the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Singapore formally handed over by Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage to State Minister of Coast Conservation & Low-Lying Lands Development Mohan Priyadarshana De Silva, and Chairperson of Marine Environment Protection Authority Dharshani Lahandapura at a ceremony held today.
The coordination effort of getting the machines to Sri Lanka involved officials from the Sri Lanka High Commission in Singapore, Sri Lanka Consulate General in Frankfurt, Foreign Ministry, MEPA and SriLankan Airlines. Chairman of SriLankan Airlines Ashok Pathirage agreed to transport the machinery from Frankfurt to Colombo on gratis basis and Regional Manager Sri Lankan Airlines Mohan Meegolle supported by coordinating the arrangements of the airlift. Chairperson/MEPA Dharshani Lahandapura and her team facilitated both the initial discussions and the processes involved in donating of the equipment.
The release further stated that the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Singapore extended its appreciation to President and CEO Jacob Duer and the team from the Alliance for offering assistance towards Sri Lanka’s beach clean-up efforts with the donation of BeachTech Sweepy machines and looks forward to working with the “The Alliance to End Plastic Waste”, in furthering partnerships and building networks to protect the marine environment of the country.