Ponds

Rehabilitation of the kulam (ponds)

Once approximately eighty ponds or kulams adorned the Island. Now only eighteen remain. In the past they were the natural retention point for water during the dry period and a drainage catchment area during the wet. The kulams were also culturally and historically significant. More recently the kulams have been encroached, filled and built upon, thus creating annual flooding. The remaining kulams will be rehabilitated into attractive green and recreational open spaces where residents can enjoy social and physically healthy pursuits.

Park

Development of a nature park

Across the causeway and before the Japanese built bridge leading to Mannar Town is an area of environmental significance and adjacent to the Vankalai Ramsar-declared wetlands site. Once the home of several species of migratory birds, the area was cleared for national security reasons and also to construct the causeway and bridge. The UDA has detailed designs for a nature park and recreational area for this site and is awaiting suitable funds to implement this project.

Tree

Biobab Historical Trail Project

Another defining feature of Mannar next to the ponds and donkeys are its historically significant baobab trees some as old as five hundred years. There are 34 biobab trees in existence and this tree needs acknowledging and protecting. The trees will be visually documented, plotted on GPS and suitably signaged. A trail map and guide will be produced to assist tourists uncover a special part of Mannar’s environmental heritage

Beach

Improved beaches – a tourist draw card

Mannar possesses safe and lazy beaches adjoining attractive palmayrah and coconut plantations in proximity to cool fresh-water streams. Shramadana programs will involve local people clearing the beaches of rubbish. They will also be supported to establish food kiosks, change rooms and shower facilities to attract domestic and international visitors.