Saturday, March 24, 2018 07:32:37 AM

Fault Lines: precarious lives in Spring Valley’s estates

By Pasan Jayasinghe and Amalini De Sayrah - Tue Jan 09, 3:59 am

Spring Valley is one of the coldest places in the Uva Province. Located in the Hali Ela administrative division close to the foot of the Namunukula mountains, this hilly terrain, which is nearly 1,200 meters above sea level, is dangerously vulnerable to the elements.

The National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) has identified nearly half of the Badulla district as being prone to landslides. The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) lists the Badulla district as one of the most environmentally-sensitive areas on the island.

These risks are practically invisible for those visiting the area; the majestic landscapes often distract from the precarious nature of daily life for those who live in these mountainous regions.

The Uva province is home to some of the country’s oldest and most historic tea plantations. While these estates are often highlighted in glossy tourism brochures, particularly last year, when Sri Lanka celebrated 150 years of Ceylon Tea, the community that lives and works on these estates is among the most socio-economically disadvantaged in Sri Lanka….

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