A concessionary loan agreement for JPY 31,810 million (Rs. 42,307 million) was signed yesterday between the Sri Lankan Government and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the Kalu Ganga Water Supply Expansion Project.
The loan agreement for the project was signed by Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga, and JICA Chief Representative Fusato Tanaka. The project is implemented by the National Water Supply and Drainage Board under the direction of the Ministry of City Planning and Water Supply.
The objective of the project is to improve access to safe water and water supply efficiency in the southern area of the Western Province by expanding the Kalu Ganga water supply facilities and restructuring water distribution networks, thereby contributing to an improvement in the living conditions of the project area.
The Western Province is the centre of Sri Lanka’s political and economic activities as around 42% of GDP and 28.5% of the population is concentrated in the area. The province has been leading economic development with industrial complexes, export processing zones and the largest international airport in the country.
Although the infrastructure is relatively advanced and the water supply coverage is 62.7%, higher than the national average of 45.9%, communities without water supply systems remain in the province outside of the Colombo District. It is predicted that urbanisation will further progress and that water demand will grow, making an expansion to the water supply services necessary in the province.
Moreover, deterioration of the water distribution pipes has resulted in high non-revenue water rates of 30% to 40% caused by leaks, illegal connections and uninstalled meters. To address the rising demand for water, it is essential that the non-revenue water rates are reduced for a more efficient water supply.
Taking these circumstances into account, the project will construct water supply systems, including an expansion of the water treatment plants by another 140,000 m3/day capacity, and the installation of intake facilities, transmission and storage facilities. The project will also launch a pilot project for reducing non-revenue water. The project will contribute to strengthening the water supply capacity in the southern areas of the Western Province for a safe and stable water supply.
“This project will contribute to improve the water supply situation in the Western Province in line with rapid urbanisation,” said JICA Chief Representative F. Tanaka.