ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s will boost access to pipe borne water to 450,000 people in several districts with a 165 million US dollar credit, the international lender said.
The project will provide safe drinking water to 450,000 people in Mullaithivu and Kilinochchi in the north, Nuwara Eliya and Badulla in the central hills as well as Monoregala, Kegalle and Ratnapura Districts.
"Access to safe drinking water is critical to health outcomes, especially for vulnerable populations” noted Françoise Clottes, World Bank Country Director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives said in a statement.
"The World Bank is happy to further support the sustained achievements in the water sector and to join the Government and other stakeholders in efforts to improve access to and delivery of this vital commodity."
The project will support a state plan to increase pipe borne water coverage to 60 percent of the country by 2020, from the current 45 percent.
Safe drinking water will protect children and elderly from the risk of water borne diseases.
£The project will support infrastructure development in lagging regions and the estate sector where access to water supply and sanitation services is lower and the poverty level is higher compared to the national average," Hadian, Task Team Leader of the project said.
The project will also work with water supply schemes managed by Community-Based Organizations, by strengthening institutions involved in service delivery in the rural and estate sectors.
Communities where a mystery kidney disease is found will also benefit from pipe borne water, the World Bank said.
Chronic Kidney Disease of uncertain etiology (CKDu) seems to strike mostly agricultural workers who work in the hot sun, and there has been suspicions that ground water is contaminated by heavy metals.