|Friday, 25 July 2003|
The World Bank has provided US $ 40 million (around Rs. 4,000 million) as an outright grant for the implementation of the 2nd Community Water Supply and Sanitation Project. This is one of the largest grants given by the World Bank to an Asian country.
The project launching workshop of the 2nd CWSSP was held at Dambulla Kandalama Hotel recently.
Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Plantation Infrastructure, W. D. Ailapperuma and the World Bank Country Director for Sri Lanka, Peter Harrold inaugurated this project with the participation of Ms. Sonia Hamman, Sector Manager, the World Bank, Washington, Toshiaki Keicho, Team Leader, the World Bank, Washington and Chief Secretary, North Western Provincial Council D. M. P. B. Dissanayake.
The decision of the World Bank to provide the financial assistance as a grant was based on the historical achievements made in the 1st CWSSP funded by them. This project has been rated by the World Bank as the "Best Project" and "Well Managed Project" among 200 similar projects in the world.
The project will apply a Demand Responsive and Participatory Approach keeping the beneficiaries at the centre. Under this approach, the beneficiary communities will plan and design their water scheme, procure construction materials, construct their own water supply and sanitation facilities and promote good hygiene practices.
This project will be implemented in the North and East, North Western, Central and the Hambantota District in Southern Provincial Councils. The total beneficiary families of this project are 127,400. Nearly 1,000 Grama Niladari Divisions are planned to cover under this project.
In this inauguration Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Plantation Infrastructure W. D. Ailapperuma said "In Sri Lanka, the Government regards the provision of safe drinking water and basic sanitation facilities as an activity of the highest priority. The responsibility of providing these basic amenities is vested with the Ministry of Housing and Plantation Infrastructure. The Ministry up to date has taken a number of steps in the recent past, to address these challenging tasks.
"When considering drinking water, special attention has to be paid to the rural water supply as more than 75% of the total population of Sri Lanka live in rural areas. More than half of the rural population do not have access to safe and adequate drinking water and basic sanitation at present.
Unlike in the urban areas, the provision of drinking water to the rural areas is a complicated matter. The houses are located in a dispersed manner. The responsible organizations are located far away. As a result, the provision of services, operation and maintenance of them are much more difficult," he said.
World Bank Country Director for Sri Lanka Peter Harrold and Sector Manager, The World Bank Sonia Hamman addressed the inaugural session of this workshop and Director of 2nd CWSSP W. Piyasena made the welcome address of this session.
Produced by Lake House