Sri Lanka

Global Grant Results in Safe Drinking Water in Sri Lanka

One of the pleasures of being a Rotarian is that once in a while, we get to see some of the good stuff we do.

Last year I went to Sri Lanka to do a needs assessment for a water crisis in their North-Central province.  I found a human catastrophe.  All of the ground water was polluted with arsenic and cadmium. This pollution caused very high levels of kidney failure. Death and dialysis was the future for the villagers and they knew it. They could see the health system collapsing and their economy falling apart.

Imagine every drop of water is killing you.

The Colombo Club in Sri Lanka asked for help. They needed water filter systems that could remove heavy metals.

Our Toledo Rotary Club partnered with Clubs in Maumee, Waterville, Perrysburg, Bowling Green, Sandusky, St Mary’s, Findlay, as well as District 6600 and RI. We leveraged $10,000 into $178,000.  That money gives 10 villages and 14,000 people, sustainable, clean water.

Last month, Greg Fess, Chuck Stocking, myself, and other district Rotarians went to meet with the Colombo Rotarians. We were shown seven villages with completed water filter plants. The others are under construction.

Each village greeted us with fire works, drummers, flowers, dancing, music, sweets, and coconuts. The children, dressed in their finest, would give each of us a leaf and kneel on the ground and touch their foreheads to our feet.  This show of gratitude and respect was very moving, and a little uncomfortable.

The villagers thought that we were saving their lives and we were.

It is good to see some of the good stuff we do through our support of the Toledo and RI Foundations.

Tim Ryan, 1st Vice President