The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the restoration of the Athawetuna Wewa under Sampath Bank’s Wewata Jeewayak initiative being exchanged between G. K. S. Pushpakumara, Assistant Commissioner, Puttalam District, Department of Agrarian Development (left) and Ravindra Gunawardena, Regional Manager, Sampath Bank.
Members of the Perakum Govi Sanvidanaya, Athawetuna Wewa breaking ground and inaugurating the tank restoration work.
Sampath Bank embarked on restoring the Athawetuna Wewa in Divulwewa, Anamaduwa, under its flagship community outreach initiative, Wewata Jeewayak. This is the tenth tank (wewa) in the country to be restored under the program.
This is yet another timely initiative by the Bank to support the nation and empower its farming communities to overcome the challenges brought about by the global COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild their lives. The 20-acre Athawetuna Wewa is the primary source of irrigation for over 60 acres of paddy fields. It also plays a crucial role in animal husbandry and other livelihood development activities in the Divulwewa and neighboring villages, serving over 500 people. With no significant maintenance work having been carried out for over 20 years, the Athawetuna Wewa’s bund has suffered considerable damage. Its waters have become shallow due to the accumulation of sludge. Its irrigation canal, sluice gates, and spill too need repairs. The current dilapidated state of the tank has limited paddy cultivation in the area to one season alone, thereby affecting the livelihoods of the entire community.
Sampath Bank will be working together with the Perakum Farmers Association (Perakum Govi Sanvidanaya), the Department of Agrarian Development, Puttalam District Office, Chilaw, and members of the local community to renovate the tank completely. Rituals were conducted to invoke blessings on the project, and the community before members of the Farmers Association commenced work on it.
“At Sampath Bank, we have always appreciated the significance of tanks (wewa) built by our kings. Being instrumental in protecting the environment, they also enable farming and other economic activity sustainably. As a Bank that takes great pride in our Sri Lankan roots, we seek to play an active role in restoring these invaluable treasures and have been working on restoring them through our ‘Wewata Jeewayak’ initiative. We have had the opportunity to transform the lives of thousands of families around the island through the program. It us our privilege to partner with the people of Divulwewa and the Department of Agrarian Development on the renovation of the Athawetuna Wewa. Projects such as this are part of our ongoing efforts to empower all Sri Lankans to reach their true potential as we continue to present their future,” said Nanda Fernando, MD, Sampath Bank
R P D K Jayarathna, President, Perakum Govi Sanvidanaya, Athawetuna Wewa, said, “The Athawetuna Wewa has been the lifeblood of our community, supporting agriculture, dairy farming, and other economic activity. Its deterioration due to years of neglect has affected our ability to grow crops throughout the year and hence had an adverse impact on our livelihoods. We are delighted to see responsible organizations like Sampath Bank come forward to empower rural communities. Their work on restoring our tank will go a long way in helping us rebuild our lives. I would like to thank the Bank on behalf of all of us in Divulwewa for this meritorious act of benevolence.”