Community perception, awareness, and knowledge of coastal erosion with special reference to the South-Eastern coastal region, Oluvil, Ampara, Sri Lanka

Rasmiya Begum, Mohammathu Mufeeth, Aboobucker Rameez


Coastal erosion is an environmental issue that has been aggravated by anthropogenic activities, leading to a worrying situation in the coastal zones of Sri Lanka in recent decades. The present study attempted to determine the community perception and awareness of coastal erosion in the South Eastern coastal region around Oluvil, Sri Lanka. 120 residents of Oluvil were selected following a random sampling method to conduct a survey using a structured questionnaire in 2020. The survey results revealed that 95% of the residents were aware of the coastal erosion while 50% were extremely concerned about it, particularly because it has worsened over the last 10 years. Awareness was significantly correlated with the level of education of the residents. About 77% of residents noted that coastal erosion in the last ten years had rapidly increased. Construction of the Oluvil fishery harbour was believed to be the major cause of coastal erosion in Oluvil, with 81% of respondents strongly agreeing in this regard. Further, 88% of residents believed that the existing conservation measures were not providing effective protection from coastal erosion. Many of the affected people had suggested permanent closure of the harbour as a measure to address coastal erosion. Knowledge and awareness about conservation measures to control coastal erosion were limited. It is suggested to provide adequate knowledge and awareness through training, workshops, and campaigns in future to protect their livelihoods and the local economy from the effects of coastal erosion. The findings of the study would be helpful to the responsible authorities and government to adopt appropriate measures to minimize the impacts of coastal erosion in Oluvil.

Keywords: Campaigns, harbour, livelihood, local economy, residents.

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