Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: Water project worth over 900 Million rupees to be handed over to the public

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By Zafran Packeerally, IFRC Communications Officer in Colombo

The district of Ampara in Eastern Sri Lanka was one of the least developed in the country even before the Tsunami that struck the area in 2004. In addition to the loss of lives and houses, the tsunami destroyed most of the water supply infrastructure along the coastal strip, which supplied water to villages like Akkaraipattu, Addalachenai, Olluvil and Ninthavur.

Water wells, which provided the primary source of drinking water for most people, were either destroyed or rendered useless by contamination or salination of the aquifer. In many areas the salinity level was too high for consumption and many wells were not even rehabilitated for secondary use. Existing small scale supply schemes, which were poorly maintained, suffered heavy damages as well.

Although the emergency phase of the tsunami operation is long over, with displaced people living in new homes, these piped water schemes will ultimately enhance the regions long term resilience towards future disasters. The Ampara water and sanitation project was aimed to address the existing chronic health issues and provide a long term solution to the water needs of the tsunami affected residents (75,000 beneficiaries) of Akkaraipattu, Addalachchenai, Olluvil and Ninthavur in the Ampara district.

The Ampara Water supply project will not only improve the living conditions of the beneficiaries and the communities by providing easy access to safe water in all seasons, it will also assure a reliable water supply not affected by the perennial flooding and droughts of the coastal region.