(EconomyNext) – South Korea’s Export-Import Bank (Korea Eximbank) has loaned Sri Lanka 79 million US dollars to supply piped water to areas where farmers suffer from kidney disease believe to have been caused by unsafe drinking water.
The Economic Development and Cooperation Fund (EDCF) loan agreement was signed with the Ministry of Finance and Planning to set up water supply systems in Deduru Oya and Ruwanwella in the Kurunegala and Kegalle districts.
A Korean embassy statement said while Sri Lankans with access to safe drinking water reached above 80 percent in the island, people from Kurunegala and Kegalle districts are still suffering from poor water and sanitation systems.
"Kurunegala District has the least piped water coverage, only about 8.3 percent, which is far below the national average coverage at 43.5 percent," it said.
"Unsafe drinking water is assumed to be one of the main causes of chronic kidney diseases prevailing in the area."
In Kegalle, the main sources of drinking water are dug wells, and people suffer from water shortage during the dry period.
The existing water supply systems meet only about 22 percent of drinking water demand in Ruwanwella, the statement said.
The Deduru Oya and Ruwanwella water supply projects, assigned high priority by the government , aim to provide safe drinking water to residents through a piped water supply system, decreasing the incidence of water borne diseases.
The EDCF will support the construction of water-intake facilities, purification plants, storage reservoirs, transmission lines and distribution networks.