JICA supporting USD 300 mn water supply project for Western Province


By Hiran H.Senewiratne

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is to support a major water supply project to the tune of US$ 300 million for the Western Province, targeting Colombo and its suburbs, to facilitate on-going development projects, Chief Representative for JICA in Sri Lanka Kiyoshi Amada said.

"Colombo is now developing at a rapid pace and going to be a future business hub in the region along with the megapolis project. Therefore, the proposed water supply project would help in a big way the entire Province, Amada told The Island Financial Review.

He said that when Colombo and the entire Western Province is developing into a megapolis, it is the need of the hour to have clean water for the long term sustainability of any project. Therefore, clean water being an important aspect in development, JICA has decided to support many water sector projects in Sri Lanka, he said.

Japan has agreed to support the Sri Lankan government to implement new city development projects and projects to supply clean drinking water to the people of Sri Lanka. Therefore, JICA will provide US $ 300 million for the entire clean water project, which will be given to Sri Lanka as a concessionary loan.

Japanese embassy is also focusing on urban development and water supply and drainage issues in Sri Lanka. Lack of safe drinking water is leading to an increase in health problems in the country, especially renal diseases, as experienced in the agricultural areas since the ground water sources are contaminated with agro chemicals caused by the large-scale use of fertilizers and pesticides.

Currently, the National Water Supply and Drainage Board supervises the water supply only to Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara in the Western Province, but in other districts people have to rely on ground sources for their water needs, Amada said.

Other ongoing projects are the Greater Kandy Water Supply Project, the Kalu Ganga Water Supply project, the Greater Colombo Water Supply Project, the Town's North Water Supply Project, the Eastern Province Water Supply Development Project, the Kilinochchi Water Supply Project, the Anuradhapura North Water Supply Project and the Kandy City Waste Water Management Project.

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