Adambakkam lake was a mighty 70 acre lake just 2 decades ago. Situated at the bustling area of Nanganallur, the lake is now reduced to just 7 odd acres today! Encroachments have engulfed the lake on all quarters with no mercy. The lake stood as a proof for vandalism that has been a regular activity on fresh-water bodies in the city of Chennai. It also bore the brunt of turning into a dump yard over time.
The inlet canals that drained the rain water into the lake from the surrounding areas were all choked with plastic. The sewage from residents on the western side of the lake were let into the lake making the lake toxic & the water to turn green with full of algae. Once ecologically rich, the Adambakkam lake lost all its glory to the ever increasing greed of humans. All the native plants & animals died out with only few fishes surviving with all contamination taken in.
E.F.I. then identified this lake in the year 2015, after the Chennai floods. Regular cleaning activities which included removal of garbage in the lake and the area around it. Clean-up was done on almost all weekends on a continuous basis as such was the dissipated state the lake was in. The volunteers were made aware of the sorry state of the Adambakkam Lake and its counterparts across the city. The volunteers were also given knowledge on the ecological and health benefits of having cleaner water bodies around us. The ill-effects of plastic usage and the degradation it brings along to the environment was strongly realized in the minds of the volunteering participants.
Volunteers from all walks of life joined hands to clean the lake. A dedicated 3 hours of volunteering every time the clean up happens has brought in a lot of difference to the lake till date. The water looks much clearer and the garbage around has largely reduced.
Hope still prevails to sustain the lake cleared of all garbage and to make the water portable and safe for the environment to bounce back. With continuous support from the volunteers and their utmost effort the lake can be taken back to the stage when the it was filled with water-birds, reptiles, amphibians & fishes.