From left: Ashleigh Simpson, David Cox, Project Manager Andrea Buetler, Team Leader Dr. Luce Cloutier, SLSEA Director General Ranjith Sepala, SLSEA Chairman T.M.R. Bangsa Jayah, Project Director Athula Jayatunga, Harsha Wickramasinghe and Sudarshana Jayasundara at the ceremonial exchange of the consultancy services agreement between SLSEA and Aryans CGS
- Partnership to implement ADB administered Supporting Productive Energy Use for Small Isolated Islands and Rural Communities Project in Jaffna
The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), Lanka Electricity Company Ltd. (LECO), Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority (SLSEA) and the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) are collaboratively implementing the ‘Supporting Electricity Supply Reliability Improvement Project’, under which the sub-project funded by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR) and administered by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to support productive energy use for small isolated islands in three islands (Nainativu, Analaitivu and Delft) of the Jaffna District in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province and rural communities will be implemented by the SLSEA and NWSDB.
The Singapore-based consulting firm, Aryans Consulting Group Singapore Ltd. (Aryans CGS) together with the leading UK-based multinational consultancy company WS Atkins International (Atkins) has been retained by the SLSEA to assist in the implementation of the sub-project and has been delegated with implementing energy-based livelihoods with focus on women’s micro-enterprises development, consultations for development of Renewable Energy Technology (RET) based local infrastructure, end-user education for safe and efficient use of electricity and electrical equipment, and technical training and skills development to avail of employment and livelihood opportunities.
Atkins is an internationally renowned design, engineering and project management consultancy ranked amongst the world’s top 20 global design companies; employing over 18,000 personnel spanning 29 countries in 300 offices. Its motto, ‘Plan, Design, Enable’ has been applied to several projects across 150 countries.
Aryans CGS, a globally operational consultancy firm provides services to private investments, businesses, governments and non-governmental organisations across a client base spanning from South and South East Asia, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. With proven expertise in infrastructure, real estate, energy, water and operations in many parts of the world, Aryans CGS ensure that the solutions provided can effortlessly be updated and adapted to next-generation innovations.
Aryans CGS and Atkins have a long-standing South East Asian collaboration on many projects predominantly in the infrastructure, real estate and energy sectors, and this trusted relationship is set to continue with the productive energy use for small isolated islands and rural communities in three islands in the Jaffna area of the Northern Province Project. In addition to the UK team, Atkins Singapore also provides project management support for this initiative.
For many years, Aryans CGS has undertaken innumerable Sri Lankan projects ranging from design and infrastructure to energy and irrigation. This expertise provides the organisation with a thorough understanding of the local demographic in addition to the operational know-how on navigating within the country.
With the objectives of the sub-project aimed at improving livelihoods in the local communities, including that of women, through training on the safe use of electrical equipment; productive use of income opportunities generated by access to electricity; creation of local employment within the maintenance crew in order to perform simple and routine repairs and staff the operation and maintenance of hybrid renewable energy systems and other facilities; and the development of added infrastructure in the form of public street lighting, a small seawater desalination plant, small water storage tanks, an ice-making factory and refrigeration facilities.
The Project will initiate productive energy use for the islands of Nainativu, Analaitivu and Delft utilising a gender mainstreaming approach as findings have proven that poor access to energy resources correlates to increased women’s hardship. This approach compliments the Government of Sri Lanka’s goals of increasing women’s participation as engines of entrepreneurial pioneering, capacity building, improving the quality of life and decision making. Addressing different energy needs and access to resources for both women and men whilst customising implementation to suit the local context will result in gender-inclusive access to clean and renewable energy.
The expected outcome of the Project is to ensure quality availability of electricity, accounting for social and environmental impacts whilst focusing on poverty alleviation and sustainable economic growth. Local enterprises such as dry-fish production utilising solar drying ovens, fruit juice manufacturing with the aid of electric juicing machines and refrigerators for storage, improved farming methodology with better irrigation and sprinkler systems, improved services such as communication and information access and other enterprises like garment and handicrafts production are expected to revitalise the economy and provide long-term sustainable income generation.
Having conducted the preliminary field study of the socio-economic conditions in the designated beneficiary demographic, Aryans CGS shared all the findings at the Orchid Hall of the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) in Colombo on 28 February at the kick-off meeting attended by representatives of the implementation organisations; the ADB; the Ministry of Rural Economy; the Department of Census and Statistics; the Ministry of Resettlement, Rehabilitation, Northern Development and Hindu Religious Affairs; senior members of the armed forces and Police; the Jaffna District Secretariat; members from each islands’ divisional secretariat; community leaders and representatives from the United Nations.
After presenting the findings discussions were held on the best methodology to implement when collating future data and particular attention was given to feedback from the beneficiaries (islands) regarding their requirements, concerns and approvals.