Welcome to the SaveVellayaniLake Webpage!
Vellayani lake is the largest fresh water lake in the district of Trivandrum, Kerala.
The people who live in the direct surrounding of the lake depend a lot on it for many uses and/or for their survival. The lake used to have a very rich bio-diversity, however the kanthari participants identified several factors that negatively affect the future existence of the lake. The main factors are:
1. Over-fishing. Half of the population of local fish is extinct (from 44 species to 22).
2. Over-use of pesticides. Many farmers that farm around the lake use pesticides to protect their crops from insects and other pests. However, a lot of these pesticides end up in the lake destroying the habitat for flora and fauna.
3. Uncontrolled growth of Lotus-plants. These plants are beautiful, however when there are too many, they negatively influence the quality of the water.
At many places they completely cover the surface causing the temperature of the water to increase drastically. This results in less oxygen in the water and that causes a threat for fish and other living creatures. Decomposed leaves of these plants cause siltation which results in polluted water and thicker layers of silt on the bottom of the lake again decreasing the quality of the water and a decrease of fish recreation? To avoid a further decrease of the water quality, the growth of these lotus plants needs to be controlled.
4. Water pumped out of the lake to be used for irrigation as well as the new Trivandrum harbour that is currently being built. The lake is very shallow and therefore once pumping starts, there is a risk that the lake will be emptied, which would have catastrophic consequences’ for the fish, birds and plants, basically the entire eco-system.
5. Encroachment: “Due to encroachment the surface area of the Vellayani lake has shrunk from 750 hectares to 420 hectares now,” says Sreeraj R, a local youth who was part of conservation efforts conducted in the past.
To avoid all of this, actions are needed. The local SaveVellayaniLake action group called Neerthadakam is working hard on the conservation of the lake.
As part of the kanthari’s “A journey in Five Acts” Curriculum, the kanthari participants are in charge to organize a SaveVellayaniLake campaign.
Over the past few weeks the following activities were undertaken:
1. The community around the lake is currently being sensitized. The past three weeks we have been working with schools around the lake on varying subject matters. A radio drama “Tears of Vellayani”, a documentary were produced and several interviews were held.
2. On the 7th of October 2017 a fundraising dinner was organized at the kanthari campus. Over 140 guests attended the gathering. The income generated from this event will be used to purchase a paddle boat for the lake conservation group Neerthadakam. This boat will be used to clean the lake as well as to raise awareness.
3. The ”save Vellayani Lake Festival” will be held on the 11th and 12th of October 2017 which includes many interesting facts about the Biodiversity of as well as Sustainable Agriculture around Vellayani lake.
4. On 12 October at 13.00, we are organizing a public meeting with Chief Guest Honorable, Mathew T. Thomas, State Water Resources Minister and Mr. V.K. Madhu, the District Panchayat President. Various office bearers of Venganoor and Kalliyoor Panchayats have endorsed this event and will be gracing the occasion with their presence.
A cultural program will be held from 3.00pm to 5.00pm. When you have a chance to join the event please do come to the Kakamoola Bund Road.
5. to create awareness about the preservation of Vellayani Lake, a 12 hours lasting radio marathon will be organized on the 12th of October 2017 from 9.00 am to 9.00 pm via live stream. The radio-channel ClubFM is a partner in this event.
6. A workshop on Lake Restoration will be held at kanthari campus on the 13th of October 2017 from 10.00am-1.30pm. The program will be led by the environmental activist from Salem, Sri Piyush Manush who restored three lakes in Salem.
Thanking you for sharing this information and for your support to save VellayaniLake!