GNF - Maduganga Lake & Madampe Lake

Lake Maduganga and Lake Madampe – Sri Lanka


Background Lake Maduganga and Lake Madampe

The lakes Maduganga and Madampe are located on the south-western coast of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean. They are twin lakes connected by a narrow channel of 3 km in length. The surface areas of the lakes cover 915 hectares and 390 hectares, respectively. The region is one of the most beautiful and picturesque landscapes in Sri Lanka.

Unique Biodiversity

According to a study conducted by the IUCN in 2000 – Maduganga Lake has one of the most unique biodiversity including different vegetation types such as the predominating mangroves and marshlands. The Maduganga wetland consists of 10 major vegetation types. These vegetation types comprise a total of 303 species of plants belonging to 95 families. The total plant species included 19 endemic and nationally threatened species and 9 invasive alien species. Examples of endangered plants are a dominant canopy plant Shorea affinis.


Due to the broad variety of plants, a large number of invertebrates, reptiles, including snakes, birds, amphibians, and mammals can be found around Lakes Maduganga and Madampa Ganga. Whereas the Mugger (Crocodylus palustris) is considered to be vulnerable and the purple-faced Leaf Monkey (Trachypithecus vetulus) endangered other reptiles such as the estuarine Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), Flapshell Turtle (Lissemys punctata), Indian Python (Python molurus) are not considered in the red list yet.

The mixture of vegetation types and presence of 21 small and large islands within this twin lake has made these two wetlands an ideal habitat for a great variety of birds. A total of 111 bird species (48 families) were recorded. These represented approximately 43 % families of the Sri Lanka native avifauna population. Of these native species 6 are endemic while 7 are considered as nationally threatened. Some of the birds were listed in the IUCN red list, such as the Sri Lanka bush warbler, Bradypterus palliseri, Columba torringtoni (Ceylon bush pigeon) and Myophonus blighi, the Sri Lanka whistling thrush. Additionaly, about 10 % (13 species) of Lake Maduganga birds are winter migrants.

Use of Land and Water Resources

According to a survey conducted by the Coastal Conservation Department of Sri Lanka the total population living in the vicinity of Lake Maduganga is nearly 24.150. 19.360 people live around the lake Madampa Ganga.


The people depend on the resources available from the lakes and surrounding wetland systems. Though, there is neither an adequate management nor environmental awareness programme, by which the local farmers and fishermen learn about sustainable use of the environment. The area already has encountered severe damage e.g. due to over-fishing, emissions of pollutants into the water system or the extensive use of chemical fertilizers.


Such issues need to be addressed not only regarding the local population but also with respect to its reputation as recreation area such as the resorts Hikkaduwa, Bentara and Unawatuna, representing the areas economically important pillar.

Madampe Lake Region is one of the 100 Greenest Holiday Destinations world-wide

Sustainable Destinations Global Top 100

 Maduganga Lake
 Project area with mangrove seedlings
 Mangrove nursery
 Mangrove plants in the project site

Project measures Lake Maduganga and Lake Madampe

Nagenahiru Foundation is the local partner organisation within the Living Lakes Network. Nagenahiru Foundation is a non-profit organisation in Ambalangoda, Sri Lanka, and is engaged in the environmental conservation since 1996.


In early 2004 Nagenahiru Foundation has successfully encouraged and promoted a group of 137 young people around Maduganga to join the forum "Friends of Maduganga". This forum aims at educating young people with regard to the protection, conservation and restoration of the Maduganga wetland system.


Presently Nagenahiru Foundation is preparing basic facilities to develop a "wetland education center" to create awareness and provide information for local stakeholders about the sustainable utilisation of the biological resources, as well as the conservation and restoration of the wetland systems and its resources.

 Information Board
 Transportation of the aangrove plants
 Demonstration of a Ja-Kotu (prawn trap) model
 Manogrove plants
 Solar lamps

Since January 2012, the project "Mangrove Restoration in Asia" is implemented at the Madampe Wetland. During three years, native mangrove seedlings will be grown in tree nurseries and degraded mangrove forests will be reforested with this seedlings.

After the disastrous Tsunami in December 2004, the living situation for the people in Sri Lanka has drastically changed. GNF had, together with the local partner organisation (Nagenahiru Foundation), deveveloped an action plan for the next two years. This program aims at improving the humanitarian situation of the people and the renaturation of the valuable mangrove forests.

From December 2005 until December 2008, the successful implementation of the EU Asia Pro-Eco II B Post Tsunami Project: Post Tsunami Restoration of Mangroves, Education and Reestablishment of Livelihoods was effected.

More and detailed information on the separate project pages.

In the succession of this project, mangrove plants were cultivated at four more lakes. Detailed information about the project ”Mangrove reforestation at six lakes” is available on the corresponding project page.


Another project encourages fisher families to use LED and CF lamps for night fishing. Hereby the kerosine lamps, being used until now, are replaced. Further information about this project can be found on the project page.



Partnerorganisationen Lake Maduganga and Lake Madampe



Nagenahiru Foundation – Center for Conservation of Lakes and Wetlands

Lal Emmanuel, President

No. 4/11, Patabendimulla

Ambalangoda, Sri Lanka

Phone: + 94 - 91 22 56 621

Mobile: + 94 - 77 62 09 625



 Logo Nagenahiru Foundation Sri Lanka