The Wilpotha Kantha Ithurum Parishramaya (Women’s Saving Effort-Wilpotha), an NGO from Wilpotha in Puttalam was one of the recipients of a small grants scheme, implemented by IUCN Sri Lanka under the Community Conservation Support Fund (CCSF) financed by the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Sri Lanka.
The main objective of the grant given to them was to restore a small village tank, Kahatakulama wewa in Galkulama, construct an anicut across the stream Lune ela, and restore a pond for bathing for the village community in Kadjuwatte village in the Kammandhaluwa Grama Niladhari Division of the Pallama Divisional Secretariat (DS) division. They started work in June 2007.
A new community-based organization, Dilena Tharu (“sparkling stars”) comprising 32 members was established for implementation of project activities and the Chief Priest of the BuddhistTemple, Sri Subadraramaya, in Galkulama; played an important role by providing guidance and supervision throughout the project.
Restoration of the tank was of immense benefit to the community. It provided irrigation water to cultivate 23 ha of hitherto uncultivated paddy lands which brought additional income to 60 families. Erosion of the tank bund and the reservation was controlled by planting 2000 forest plants. As an additional income generation activity 40 sustainable home gardens were established. Additionally, 25 women were provided assistance on the production of bags and other handicrafts using reeds from the tank area. A wattle and daub village shop was build in close proximity to Kahatakulama wewa to sell the produce from home gardens, local sweet meats and handicraft turned out by the members of the CBO. A recreation area for children was also established near the village shop.
At a simple ceremony held on 19 November 2008 attended by the Country Representative of IUCN, the Chief Priest of Sri Subadraramaya, project staff and the Divisional Secretary of Pallama DS division the restored tank together with other infrastructure was handed over to the community.