Sri Lanka in 4 billion rupee toilet drive

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka will invest 4 billion rupees to ensure over one million residents will have a toilet in their home before the end of 2019, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said.

"We are now a middle income economy with expressways," he said, delivering the 2019 budget.

"However, over one million Sri Lankans do not have a toilet in their homes," he said.

This is around 264,000 households, the finance minister said.

"We will ensure that there is no home without a toilet before the end of the year," he said.

"We will invest 4 billion rupees."

Modern toilets will also be built in train stations, hospitals, and main bus stands, and be managed by private companies, he said.

He said over 100,000 people in the Hambantota District, home of Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, do not have a toilet in their home, even though the district has better expressways and mansions than Los Angeles, California.

Around 25,000 people in the Moneragala District do not have toilets in their homes, he said.

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Many Sri Lankans cannot afford to build toilets, as high tariffs on sanitary ware are in place to protect crony oligarchs.

(Colombo/Mar05/2019-SB)

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