Beyond Textiles: Hayleys Fabric drives research on water pollution in Kelani River basin with Sri Jayawardenapura Uni

Consolidating its efforts in environmental stewardship, Sri Lanka’s largest textile manufacturer and a subsidiary of Hayleys Group, Hayleys Fabric, partnered with the University of Sri Jayawardenapura to research pollutants in the Kelani River basin. 

The environmental study, the first to assess antibiotic resistance in running water resources utilized for human consumption in the Kelan River basin, will play a pivotal role in developing strategic plans to safeguard surface and groundwater, paving the way for significant advancement in public health and safety. 

“Given that the Kelani River accommodates over 20% of the Sri Lankan population and caters to more than 80% of drinking water requirements of the Colombo district, it is imperative that we closely study its impact on public health. As a responsible manufacturer, we believe that by working with leading academic institutions to develop innovative solutions that address critical environmental solutions, this collaboration is just one of many initiatives we are proud to be a part of,” Hayleys Fabric Managing Director Rohan Goonetilleke said.

The research project will screen and quantify antibiotic residues in surface water, isolate and identify antibiotic-resistant bacteria and their resistance mechanisms through antibiotic-resistance genes, and quantify antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) to understand the relationship between ARGs and antibiotic residues. 

The initiative will further seek to identify the primary sources of antibiotic contamination and propose practical strategies for their migration, highlighting a proactive approach towards environmental stewardship and water resource protection. A total of 27 sample collection points will be selected based on catchment characteristics, anthropological activities, land use practices and industrial discharges. 

“This collaborative research project presents an exciting opportunity to combine the expertise of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura with the resources and commitment of Hayleys Fabric. Our joint efforts will enhance our understanding of the Kelani River’s water quality and provide valuable insights to policymakers and stakeholders working towards safeguarding public health and the environment,” University of Sri Jayawardenapura Vice Chancellor Prof. Pathmalal M. Manage said.

The collaborative effort not only underscores the commitment of both institutions to addressing critical environmental challenges but also serves as a model for how industry and academia can work together for the greater good. 

Hayleys Fabric, a Sri Lankan textile industry leader, is renowned for its commitment to sustainability and ethical manufacturing practices. The company is dedicated to environmental responsibility and actively seeks solutions to minimize its ecological footprint.

Hayleys Fabric Managing Director Rohan Goonetilleke (third from right) exchanging the MOU with University of Sri Jayawardenapura Vice Chancellor Prof. Pathmalal M. Manage (third from left) in the presence of teams from Hayleys Fabric and University of Sri Jayawardenapura.

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