The water supply has been suspended to basically all of Colombo – from Kotte to central to Mount Lavinia. I checked the taps and stuff is flowing for now but this sucks.
The news isn’t reporting it directly, but the last source of oil pollution into the Kelani River was a Coca Cola factory there. They were the source of the pollution earlier, so I don’t see who else it would be. Not content to produce something that’s slowly toxic to people, Coca Cola seems to have befouled Colombo’s water supply.
UPDATE: Coke is saying that they shut down production after the first instance of pollution and thus this couldn’t be them.
This is seriously infuriating. Industrial pollution up to the level that it cuts of water for an entire city? The management at this factory should be arrested and Coca Cola should be sued to cover the cleanup and damages to our water pumping and processing plants.
That factory was responsible for leakage and contamination before, but it happened on election day when no one was paying attention. Now hopefully people are. Coke is poison but tasty poison every now and then, that’s fine. Them polluting our drinking water is another thing altogether. Uncouth and uncool.
UPDATE: Note that Coke is saying this isn’t their fault as they shut down production after having their environmental license revoked the last time. I’ll publish a statement from them as they send it. Also note that there are reports that remnants of the original spill have resurfaced after recent rains and been flushed back into the river.
This is the Coca Cola Press Release:
Statement from Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd
On 17th August, our staff noticed a leakage of diesel from a fuel pipe line. The leak was plugged immediately by the staff on night duty. However, by the time this leak was plugged, some oil had escaped into the nearby water body, through the storm water drainage system. We informed the local authorities as soon as we noticed it and took corrective and precautionary measures in consultation with them. As an immediate measure, several corrective measures were taken at the plant. This includes discontinuing the use of the affected fuel pipeline and temporarily blocking the affected storm water drainage. Services of an independent engineer was obtained to ascertain and verify the effectiveness of the corrective and preventive measures implemented. Additionally, we initiated exhaustive preventive actions to avoid any such occurrence in the future and are cooperating with the authorities.
We also confirm that we are in receipt of a letter from the Central Environment Authority to temporarily halt operations at our plant and we have already complied with their request. We are currently in discussions with the Central Environmental Authority to recommence operations. The Coca-Cola Company has been in operation in Sri Lanka for over 50 years and wishes to reaffirm its commitment to the country and its consumers. We sincerely regret this accident and have already put in place several measures to prevent such an occurrence in the future.