Water for Dry Zone | Daily News

Water for Dry Zone

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Sri Lanka together with the Government of Sri Lanka, financed by the Green Climate Fund (GCF), is implementing the ‘Climate Resilient Integrated Water Management Project’ (CRIWMP), in the rain-scarce Dry Zone; which covers Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Puttalam, Kurunegala, and Vavuniya.

The project will improve access to potable water by enhancing community-managed drinking water infrastructure. The project handed over Rural Water Supply Schemes and Advanced Filtration Systems to the communities in the Puttalam, Anuradhapura and Vavuniya Districts recently.

Irrigation Ministry CRIWMP Project Director Engineer Chandana Edirisooriya said that nature alone cannot guarantee water security for people in every situation. “Built and natural infrastructure both are needed for efficient and effective management of water resources. The project has taken action to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural or modified ecosystems that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits,” he said.

The Rambepitiya Rural Water Supply Scheme was handed over to the public on March 24, assuring year round access to clean drinking water to over 400 households in the Dry Zone with the presence of Rural and Divisional Drinking Water Supply Projects Development State Minister Sanath Nishantha. The Thalakolawewa Rural Water Supply Scheme related to rural paddy fields was also handed over to the public on March 30 by Tanks, Reservoirs and Irrigation Development State Minister Anuradha Jayaratne assuring year-round access to water to over 1,512 beneficiaries.

Rural communities are forced to bear the severe impacts of water issues in the country. Ensuring an uninterrupted supply of drinking water during drought; reduced quality of water from public point sources - which scientific speculations have linked to the cause of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKDu) prevalent in some areas in the Dry Zone; limitations in the country’s water production capacity and stress on its water resources; partial treatment and water quality deterioration are some of the crucial issues that affect Sri Lanka.

UNDP Sri Lanka CRIWMP Project Manager Asoka Ajantha said that climate change is worsening the degradation of our natural resources, especially essential resources such as water and work towards saving every drop of clean water and making clean water accessible to all is a must. “This timely intervention is life changing for many in the Dry Zone and the UNDP looks towards working together with the Government and stakeholders to intensifying efforts to truly valuing water so all may have equitable access to this most precious resource,” he said.

These Rural Water Supply Schemes and Advanced Filtration Systems will benefit 19 schools, six public hospitals and around 500 households, ensuring clean water and sanitation to a host of communities while improving their quality of life.