It is timely that the Academics attached to the Faculty of Science disassociated themselves from their Dean, Professor Nalin de Silva, effectively relegating him to the role of a charlatan.
It is disgraceful for one to reach up to the skies in making a scientific explanation and therefore I hope this mess is put to bed once and for all. I know so many people who are worried about arsenic levels as a result of this scare, and the newspapers as usual, in order to sell their publications and attract readership have resorted to fear mongering, instead of explaining to our relatively unthinking readership who soak up truth or fiction in the same order, that this issue needs to be properly evaluated.
We have yet to fully understand and explain the problems of kidney disease in the NCP, as that has something to do with the unique conditions of the NCP as much as it also has the fluoride issue in water to contend with which other parts of the country that use the same level of pesticides do not. So that and the cooking on cheap aluminum vessels to store water etc. may also be a contributory factor. It is imperative that this issue is immediately addressed as I also farm in the NCP and at the moment transport all my drinking water from the my farm in the Western Province.
There are many issues here, with regard to the overuse of Chemical Fertilizer, as well as the overuse of Pesticides and the deterioration of the soils arising therefrom and seepage into the groundwater as well as to other drinking water sources of these chemicals and how they impact human health. There is a lot of suffering in the NCP and people are clinging on to anything they can to explain away their plight, and the powers in play are playing with this concern, without seriously addressing the issue with the respect and diligence it requires.
Prof De Silva did a great disservice to the country in drawing attention to himself, and I believe the least that can be done is to have him removed from his position forthwith in the interests of Education and the future of his University, as both those are for more important than the man himself.
Then let us get back into firstly addressing the Kidney disease problem and find a realistic and scientific explanation. We should then separately address the over use of fertilizer and pesticides in some scientific manner and encourage and teach our farmers to minimize their use and assist them in overcoming the degradation of soils that have forced farmers to overuse these as compensation for past sins.