Home Sweet Home
By The Bloemendhal Garbage Hill
Text and pictures by Pavithra Jovan De Mello
Home. The very place that you sleep at night, enjoy a meal with your family and also the place you know that is always there for you. Now imagine that it is to be demolished for a petroleum pipeline. This is what the people who are living between the Bloemendhal garbage hill and the railway tracks at Mahawatte are going through. The Sunday Leader visited this stretch of houses, where there is a community of close to 1,000 people. Even though all of them are not affected by this issue, the people who are, have mixed feelings about this project. Temporary housing has been built for the ones that will be affected, but some are not happy. One lady told us that the houses are too hot to live in and they would rather stay at their current home. Some families have been living in this area for more than 30 years. I spoke to Sunimal (50), a father of three, his house is to be demolished and when asked what he felt about the whole situation, he said there is nothing else to be done but to leave when the construction starts, and he was aware about the temporary houses that were built for them. “I only hope they are habitable,” he said anxiously.
Nisantha, a 40 year old father of three, who said that if they have to move, he hopes they are moved to a better place, rather than a temporary house, where his children can go to a better school and enjoy better living conditions. Others are not sure how long they will be stuck in the temporary houses even though they have been promised permanent homes in two and a half years time by the authorities.