ADB will pump USD 800 million to link 1000 Lankan villages to major roads



by Ifham Nizam

Plans are underway by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to provide USD 800 million in stages to connect 1,000 villages countrywide to the major road network in Lanka, a top official said.

ADB Sri Lanka Resident Mission, Country Director, Sri Widowati told The Island that if all went right Sri Lanka would receive USD 100 million in September and another USD 100 million in December for the project that would go on for 10 years.

"To connect lagging regions with growth centres, we will be financing "last mile road connectivity" across 1,000 villages, linking these villages to critical road network," she said.

Ms. Widowati said that ADB was already in the process of financing the expansion of water supply

systems in key urban areas, including Colombo, with the aim of ensuring 24/7 water supply, higher quality standards, adequate coverage and lower water leakages. At the same time ADB also supported the coverage expansion of urban sewerage to reduce pollution and improve health conditions.

ADB is also developing an Integrated Water Resource Management Investment Programme, bringing water from Mahaweli system to the dry zone of the North Central region.

PPP pilot projects are being explored under the Greater Colombo Water and Wastewater Management Improvement Investment Program, Green Power Development and Energy Efficiency Improvement Programme, Expressway Connectivity Investment Programme, and Skills Sector Enhancement Programme.

She also said that ADB partnership strategy focuses on three pillars: (i) inclusive and sustainable economic growth, (ii) catalysing private investment and enhancing the effectiveness of public investment, and (iii) human resource and knowledge development.

Under the first pillar ADB supports nationally important strategic projects to promote long-term sustainable growth as well as infrastructure development that improve connectivity and service delivery to lagging regions and rural areas. These interventions will reduce regional disparities and expand employment opportunities, thereby promoting inclusive growth.

She also said that ADB was also assisting improvement of the quality of secondary education and equal access to education through the 1,000 school concept countrywide.

Quality of education would be improved through teacher training, curriculum development, greater use of information communication technology, and improvement in science and technology facilities, she added.



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