Will Restoration of Ecological Functions of Tank Cascade System Contribute to Reduce CKDu in Sri Lanka? A review

N. S. Abeysingha, K. B. Dassanayake, C. S. Weerarathna


People in the dry zone of Sri Lanka where hydraulic civilization once thrived, suffer from occurrence of a chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology (CKDu). The etiology for CKDu is now shown to be multi factorials and but related to water. Ancient people in the dry zone used surface water of tank cascades system and this system was interlinked with the ecosystem and social system of the area. It is hypothesized that the adverse changes that took place to the ecosystem of the tank cascade system and new commercial practices of agriculture in the CKDu prevalent area have also become reasons for the spreading of CKDu. This review assesses the effect of different components of the tank cascade systems in improving the water quality. A number of studies have reported positive effects of improving the surface water quality of the tank by the Wew Ismaththa (closer catchment), Thaulla (upper peripheral gentle sloping land), Kattakaduwa (Interceptor) Iswetiya or Potawetiya (upstream soil ridges), Godawala (small silt trapping pond). The review also identified functions of Thaulla area approximately similar to a constructed wetland. This review highlights the issues and gaps in our understanding the ecological functioning of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System. It is suggested that reconstruction of ecofriendly structural components of tanks and reestablishment of tank cascade system in the area would help to combat the spreading of CKDu in dry and intermediate zone of the country. 

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/emsd.v7i3.13129


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Copyright (c) 2018 N. S. Abeysingha, K. B. Dassanayake, C. S. Weerarathna

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Environmental Management and Sustainable Development  ISSN 2164-7682

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