Sampling trip to Sri Lanka in January 2018

On Jan 21_ 31st of  2018, three group members, Prof. Jun Li, Dr. Guangcai Zhong and Dr. Shizhen Zhao visited Dr. Parakrama Karunaratne from University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. This designed sampling campaign mainly focuses on the current air pollution and historical environmental change in Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown etiology (CKDu) region, which has been key human health issue for more than two decades in Sri Lanka. Many thanks to the strong support from Dr. Parakrama Karunaratne and his excellent team, 65 passive air samplers were installed in Polonnaruwa region with high, medium and low CKDu prevalence. Meanwhile, six sediment cores were sampled in three Ancient Water Tanks (AWTs). Future collaboration plan was also in-depth discussed. We look forward to productive output from this sampling campaign and more intensive cooperation in future. This work is part of our on-going project, Southern Contaminants Programme (SCP, 2017-2019), which is based on international collaboration and funded by Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) as part of its Belt & Road Initiatives.

Welcome dinner with Dr. Parakrama Karunaratne, Dr. Nanda Gunawardhana, Dr. Shameen Jindasa, Prof. Jun Li, Shizhen Zhao and Dr. Guangcai Zhong (from left to right).
A hemodialysis room in Polonnaruwa Hospital.
Discussion on detailed sampling plan with the core members of CKD control unit.
Assemble passive air sampler in the back of our van.


Dr. Zhong and Mr. Rajitha was installing two passive air samplers surrounded by curious students.
Happy time with adorable local pupils.
Great achievements on the first day.
Most CKDu-affected population works as paddy farmers.
Enjoy fresh coconuts given by hospitable indigene.
Full view of Minneriya Wewa.
On the boat to sample the sediment corer.
Work together to pull out the corer.
Dr. Zhong was taking care of the valuable corer.
Cutting sediment corer into pieces.
Spare no pains to push forward.
Tea time with the great local team.
Work as a united team.
We are family.
Came across a nice wedding ceremony.
Mahaweli River across the University of Peradeniya. It’s the longest river in Sri Lanka.
Visit the lab of Dr. Suranga Kodithuwakku from Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. He graduated from the University of Hong Kong.
Relaxing time in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, the second-oldest city on the island and also an UNESCO World Heritage.