Nov 17, 2016 (LBO) – The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a loan agreement with the Government to provide a Japanese loan of 23 billion Yen as assistance for the Anuradhapura North Water Supply Project.
This project will construct a water supply system in the northern part of Anuradhapura District to provide safe drinking water and increase the water supply coverage, thereby improving health conditions and the living environment in the project area, JICA said in a statement.
The loan funds will be allocated to the civil works and the procurement of equipment necessary for the construction of a water treatment plant, the supply and installation of water transmission and distribution pipes, and consulting services.
Sri Lanka has set a target of raising the piped water supply coverage from the current national average of approximately 45 percent to 60 percent by 2020.
To achieve this target, not only do existing tap water facilities need to be expanded in cities, but new tap water infrastructure needs to be constructed in rural areas, where such infrastructure is insufficient.
There are also regional disparities in piped water supply coverage in the country, it said
“As an example, the northern part of Anuradhapura District, which is the target region of this project in Sri Lanka’s North Central Province, has a tap water coverage of merely 26.9 percent,”
“Moreover, this region has a high incidence of dental and skeletal fluorosis, which is caused by consuming groundwater with a high concentration of fluoride. It is also said that one of the causes of the high incidence of chronic kidney disease in the area is poor-quality groundwater.”
These health issues make the supply of safe drinking water to the region one of the country’s highest priorities, they added.
Going forward, JICA will continue to contribute to the sustainable economic growth of Sri Lanka by supporting the development of basic infrastructure utilizing its various types of assistance—technical cooperation, Japanese ODA loans and grant aid.