ECONOMYNEXT – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is giving Sri Lanka a loan of US$453 million to fund the second phase of a project providing irrigation and drinking water from the island’s main Mahaweli river.
The funds will be used to build storage reservoirs, canals and tunnels to divert river water for thousands of farmer families and provide safe drinking water for people living in areas affected by Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).
The Mahaweli Water Security Investment Program is one of the major ongoing investment program currently being implemented under the loan assistance of the ADB, the finance ministry’s Department of External Resources said in a statement.
The total investment cost of this program is $675 million of which $453 million will be provided by ADB under Multi - tranche Financing Facility (MFF).
The government of Sri Lanka has already signed two loan agreements with ADB to obtain $150 million to finance the first tranche of the programme.
Three major investment projects; Upper Elahera Canal Project, North Western Province Canal Project, Minipe Left Bank Canal Rehabilitation Project will be implemented under the investment program.
“The construction of new and improved water conveyance and storage infrastructure under this program will increase the productivity of agricultural lands in the North Western, North Central and Central Provinces,” the statement said.
The project involves constructions of 158 km canals and 38 km of tunnels and two new reservoirs with storage capacity of 36 MCM (Million Cubic Meters) as well as rehabilitation of the 74 km Minipe Left Bank Canal.
The statement said 25,000 farmer families under Upper Elahera Canal Project, 40,000 farmer families under North Western Province Canal Project and 15,000 farmer families under Minipe Left Bank Canal Rehabilitation Project will directly benefit from the program.
The proposed second tranche will fund partial construction of 28 km of tunnels on the 62 km conveyance canal linking the Moragahakanda and Hurluwewa reservoirs and partial construction of 8.8 km of tunnels and conveyance canal linking the Kalu Ganga and Moragahakanda reservoirs.
It will also fund continuing construction of the Mahakithula and Mahakirula Reservoirs, and Mahakithula Inlet Tunnel which had been initiated under Tranche 1 of this program.
The total investment cost of tranche 2 is $242 million with the government giving $32 million and ADB $210 million as two loans.
(COLOMBO, May 18, 2018)