J. M. Piyasena – location:Oyamaduwa, Anuradhapura
J.M Piyasena (62) a farmer in the village of Oyamaduwa in Anuradhpura district is very happy these days, he can finally cultivate his paddy field after a lapse of three years. The Nikaweratiya Anicut located in Alyapattuwa, in Oyamaduwa is around hundred years old and benefits approximately 40 acres of paddy cultivation in the area and around 40 farming families .The paddy lands benefitting the Anicut have been owned by these families for nearly 200 years. In 2010, the spillway of the anicut was badly damaged as a result of a flood. The families utilizing the anicut used temporary measures, such as using sand bags to cover the spillway, but this did not prove to be very successful and as a result these farmers could not cultivate their paddy lands for a period of three years. Although various requests were made to Government officials to repair the spillway, this also proved to be futile.
In 2013, the farmers finally sought the assistance of BDS to repair the spillway. BDS provided the skilled labour, equipment and material required for the project amounting to Rs. 445,500. The 40 farmer’s formed a special farmers organization named ‘ Dilena tharu govi sanvidanaya’ for the purpose of repairing the Anicut and provided the manual labour as well as a contribution of Rs. 237,500 towards the project. The total cost for the project was Rs. 683,000. The collaborative project was completed in October 2013, within a period of 1 ½ months.
Mr. Asoka Wijewardena, the president of the farmer’s organization states “We are very happy for the assistance given to us by the Berendina organization, even the Government was not willing to assist us, we were unable to cultivate our lands for three years and now 40 families can now cultivate their paddy lands and are very happy”.
Hopes of a better future.