Tea cultivations in Galle - over 75% damaged | Sunday Observer

Tea cultivations in Galle - over 75% damaged

 Jayanthi Thuduwage and one of her daughters were rescued by by neighbours. Her tea cultivation of nearly two acres at Akuretiya, Baddegama adjoining the Gin Ganga was completely destroyed by the floods. She said she could never dream of replanting her land.
Jayanthi Thuduwage and one of her daughters were rescued by by neighbours. Her tea cultivation of nearly two acres at Akuretiya, Baddegama adjoining the Gin Ganga was completely destroyed by the floods. She said she could never dream of replanting her land.

Cultivating tea is the only livelihood for tea smallholders in the major tea-growing areas of the Galle district. They know of no other way to earn a living.

Well-grown tea cultivation yields a good crop and a majority of the tea smallholders earned a good income of around Rs. 1 lakh per month. A kilo of fresh green leaves fetches a price of Rs.100 to 110.

Smallholder tea cultivations in the Galle district were located mostly in the river valleys of the Gin Ganga and its tributaries and in the low lying areas and in close proximity to paddy fields. The worst affected areas during the recent floods, were Baddegama, Neluwa, Mapalagama, Nagoda, Elpitiya, Polgahawila and Divitura Welivitiya, Ethkandura in the Karandeniya electorate, Rekadahena and Kahaduwa.

The tea cultivations were submerged for more than four days, and after the flood waters receded, acres and acres of dead tea plantations could be seen.

The President of Galle District Tea Smallholders Society, P.H. Susantha de Silva said that it could take at least two years to obtain a crop after replanting is done.

Tea smallholders of these areas have become traumatic and emotionally disturbed not knowing how to make ends meet, under the existing circumstances. Even private factory owners find it difficult to operate their factories without green leaves which they usually obtained from smallholders on a daily basis.

Miss Ishanka of the disaster management section of the Elpitiya Divisional Secretariat, said the damage caused by the floods was yet to be assessed. Compensation for the affected tea smallholders will be paid only after the ongoing surveys are completed. She said paddy cultivations and home gardens were also affected.

Small scale soil erosion at Ketandola, Rekadahena Metiviliya had also destroyed tea cultivations, she said. Elpitiya Tea Inspector I.D. Dusantha said the surveys of the dead tea cultivations to assess the exact number of acres affected had already commenced. He said in certain areas even cinnamon cultivations were damaged by the floods.

Jayanthi Thuduwage and one of her daughters were rescued by by neighbours. Her tea cultivation of nearly two acres at Akuretiya, Baddegama adjoining the Gin Ganga was completely destroyed by the floods. She said she could never dream of replanting her land. The grieving tea smallholders said the relevant authorities had to devise immediate plans for the rehabilitation of their cultivations. After the flood waters receded, donations from various sources had become scanty, some of the flood victims said. 

Comments

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.