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09 November, 2015 09:39 AM Source: Financial Times - Sri Lanka
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The World Bank has come forward to support a $ 165 million investment to implement the Water Supply and Sanitation Improvement Project in Sri Lanka.
The Government has identified that having reliable source of safe drinking water is a basic right of the people. Accordingly, one of the targets of the Government in relating to the Water Sector in Sri Lanka is to increase piped water coverage from the existing level of 45 percent to 60 percent by 2020.

It will greatly be supported by Water Supply and Sanitation Improvement Project 2015-2020, which is to increase access to pipe borne water services, focussing on 540 most needy GramaNiladhari (GN) divisions in selected 7 districts. The said districts are; Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Nuwara-Eliya, Badulla, Kegalle, Moneragala and Rathnapura. The objectives of the project are also to improve sanitation facilities of targeted groups in the said districts and to strengthen the capacity of the Department of National Community Water Supply (DNCWS).
The International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank has shown their interest to mobilize its funds in this sector and the Government entered in to an agreement on November 6, 2015 with IDA to obtain financial assistance of SDR 117.4 million (US$ 165 million equivalent) to support the Water Supply and Sanitation Improvement Project.
These funds will be mobilized through the National Budget during the period    2015-2020. It is estimated that funds would directly benefit an estimated 426,000 people (approximately 107,000 households) with safe piped water supply, of which approximately 26,300 households are in towns, 15,800 households in estates and the remaining 64,900 households are in rural areas. Sanitation programs will benefit approximately 43,000 families to build the individual latrines in rural areas and estates.
Signing of the Financing Agreement took place on November 6, 2015 at the Ministry of Finance. Dr. R H S Samaratunga, Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Ms. FrancoiseClottes, Country Director of the World Bank signed the agreements on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka and the World Bank respectively.

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