Sri Lanka’s high risk dams to be made safer

Mar 28, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is getting a 65.3 million US dollar credit from the World Bank to improve the safety at high risk dams and boost water resources planning capacity in the island, the multilateral lender has said. The project will cover 80 dams of which 32 are considered high risk. The World Bank says it hopes to install “sustainable institutional arrangements for safety management and operations and maintenance of major dams in the country.”

It will help Sri Lanka develop a national water use plan by updating the existing Mahaweli water resources development plan which includes a development plan for the Mundeni Aru river basin.

Feasibility studies of priority water development options will be done.

“Improving the institutional capacity for integrated and multi-sectoral water resources planning and prioritization of water resources development investments is critical for Sri Lanka’s development,” Naoko Ishii, World Bank’s country director for Sri Lanka, said in a statement.

“The damage caused by the tsunami disaster has deepened the need and urgency for the country to protect the public from natural disasters.”

Many of Sri Lanka’s 350 medium and large dams are ageing and have structu