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Ancient Irrigation
wonders in Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka

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Heritage Management

Sri Lanka had been extremely rich in natural, historic, religious and cultural heritage sites as well as people with extraordinary rich lifestyle and economic activities with respect to nature, traditional knowledge, values and morality.  The country is considerably succeeded in restoring many of the historic and archeological sites to its glory but the restoration of traditional lifestyles and economic activities have been forgotten by modern technological and cultural adaptations of contemporary development efforts.   This unbalanced intervention complicated the lifestyle of people as well as resulted in challenging management issues. Heritage management stream of VanLanka Planning is to bridge this gap into the community development and planning.

Ancient Irrigation systems
Traditional Farming Practices
Foods recipes and Eating habits
Traditional and Ayurveda Medicines

Traditional Farming and Aancient Irrigation Systems:
Traditional farming:
Sri Lanka also has an incredibly rich agricultural heritage including over 2500 varieties of rice as well as huge numbers of indigenous species of fruits and vegetables. It also has traditional labour exchange practices, integrated pest and disease management systems and farming techniques that were once highly productive, all of which are in danger of disappearing as the knowledge dies off. 
What we do: We are establishing a seed farm in a village in the Kurunegala district and will be conducting workshops with local farmers on traditional and organic farming techniques. We promote the preservation and enhancement of Sri Lanka’s agricultural heritage physically through seed faming and varietal cultivation. In addition, VanLanka is bringing together city dwellers who lack employment with farms requiring labour: youth and women’s groups in the urban slums will provide labour to the villages for farming during peak times and for irrigation repair.  We attempt to replicates the traditional labour exchange systems where slum youth will receive a portion of the farms’ produce (rice/coconut) in payment, increasing their own food security, as well as learning new skills, which can be applied at home in urban agriculture and slum upgrading projects.
Ancient irrigation systems:
Ancient irrigation systems of Sri Lanka and its techniques of culturing the natural surge of water for human needs that harmonizes the multiplicity requirements of entire ecosystem provides an excellent lesson for sustainable development activists. Sizes of those irrigation systems range from village level small lakes of 5 hectares to over 5000 hectares of catchment.  One thirds of the paddy lands in Sri Lanka are irrigated by small irrigation systems aforesaid.  Unfortunate situation today is that those systems have deteriorated, neglected and abandoned.
VanLanka planning mobilizes farmers of seed farming village in Kurunegala district to generate their own financial resources.  VanLanka provides matching funds as grants and also improve their organization and management capacity to rehabilitate and maintain those systems.  We link Canadian expertize and counterparts with local interest groups, university students and researchers.  We also encourage research through financial grants on ancient irrigation systems to find suitable strategies to for sustainable planning and development in such areas.
Our Vision: Global trends in finding solutions to poverty, food security and climate change issues drives activists to find appropriate models in sustainable farming. Elements of tradition farming associated with traditional irrigation systems in Sri Lanka can be integrated into an appropriate faming and lifestyle model.   top

Foods recipes and Eating habbits:
Moderate lifestyle in Sri Lanka had been fundamentally based diverse varieties of food recipes and eating habits. 100% organic home grown vegetables have been transients to commercially grown vegetables. All forms of fibrous grains and indigenous varieties of seeds are been extinct. Peoples habits and norms to protect and share seeds are been changed to buy seeds from commercially grown ventures. Food recipes that Lankans had evolved have been distorted and substituted by unhealthy fast foods.
What we do: VanLanka document these recipes and exchange such knowledge among communities; promote those among younger generation of our all project communities and internationally through cooking classes, demonstrations and food pastas.
Our vision: Promote home made healthy foods among our communities. to top

Traditional and Ayurveda Medicines:
Traditional medicine and nursing therapy systems are to heal both body and mind. Traditional doctors always attempts to find the causes of the disease to heal the cause. Also their treatments were healing as well as preventive; it had never being a business. Most of the medicinal herbs had been found in the village itself it was not an issue for them to do it as volunteers helps in nursing. It was an ethical responsibility of the doctor to heal the patient to gain happiness. 
What we do: We partner with villagers/schools to documents the different medicinal herbs available in the seed farm village in all other villagers;  Promote use of instance traditional treatments for common sicknesses in all four communities that VCF work in Kallarawa, Wilgoda, Thambavita and Gallellagama; growing medicinal herbs and fibrous grains which are becoming extinct in seed farm village and in all four communities.
Our vision: Healthy communities through preventive medicine.

Sharing seeds

Mrs. Bandaranayak Mudiyanselage Ukkumenike, a seed banker of VanLanka seed fam village

Traditional food is a heritage we can leave with our children

Research Farm of the movement of Protection of Indigenous seeds (MPIS)

Sluice Gate of Angamuwa iriigation reservoir – Earthen bunds were always built linking two rock outcrops and a stoned sluice gate

All rights reserved by VanLanka Planing Consulting.Last modified Tuesday, January 11, 2011