Let there be light
Daily Mirror Editorial
Jan 10, 2011

Saving energy, electricity or water is an act of practical patriotism that Sri Lankans need to practise in this new era when the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) has recommended that the Sri Lankan identity be established with any reference to race being removed from official documents.

Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka announced last week, the Ceylon Electricity Board was setting up a separate company to harness solar and wind power which Mother Nature gives to all unconditionally and free-of-charge. He said the initial installation process might be expensive but the CEB hoped that by 2020 about 20 per cent of Sri Lanka's electricity requirements could be obtained from solar and wind power. The minister said the CEB also hoped to revive several hydro-electric projects so that all Sri Lankans would have access to electricity at affordable prices. Enlightened plans indeed and let there be light.

While the Minister and CEB officials work out these schemes if not dreams, the people of Sri Lanka also need to cooperate by developing the habit of saving electricity and using it only when essential. The intention is not only to reduce a family's electricity bill - though that also will be useful in these hard days when the cost of living is soaring. Saving electricity needs to be seen as an act of patriotism and cooperation with the nation in saving energy.

We need to be conscious of the need to switch off the electricity bulb when we leave a room or any other place in the house. Television and radios need to be used sparingly and only when necessary. This applies also to other electrical items like the irons and fans. Wastage at household or social levels must be avoided and we hope we will not see again the scandal of floodlights for two whole nights to stage night motor races in supper luxury cars for the extravagant elite of the country. If an average family of four could reduce their electricity usage by more than 50 units a month, it would be not only a substantial financial saving but an act of responsibility in the national interest.

As for water, world analysts tell us that after 2020 there might be a severe shortage of clean water and powerful countries might even be tempted to go to war to grab the water resources of other countries. The Americans claimed the wars were intended to curb or crush terrorism but most independent analysts believe the hidden agenda was to grab control of the vast untapped natural gas and energy resources in those countries. During the past two decades transnational companies have used sophisticated means and corrupt tactics to gain remote control of Sri Lanka's rivers, canals and other waterways. We hope the government will not allow this to happen.

In the meantime all the people need to cooperate in the mission to save water. When we open a tap to wash the hands or other utensils we should open it only half way and not just waste water. If we take a shower bath for fifteen minutes we could reduce it to ten minutes. In western countries they are recycling water from the shower to the cistern in the toilet. Sri Lankans also need to do this and if possible get some advice and assistance in domestic rainwater harvesting. Such little drops of water will make a mighty ocean to sustain Sri Lanka.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka