Nov 18, 2016

JICA grants Rs.31 b for safe drinking water in A'pura

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has stepped into support for safe drinking water in Anuradhapura.

JICA signed a loan agreement with the Sri Lankan Government to provide a Japanese ODA loan of up to 23.137 billion yen (Rs.31.33 billion) for assistance for the Anuradhapura North Water Supply Project (Phase 2).

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.

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.

The northern part of Anuradhapura District, which is the target region of this project in Sri Lanka’s North Central Province, has 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.

The Anuradhapura North Water Supply Project (Phase 2) will increase the piped water supply coverage, and decrease the fluoride concentration of drinking water in the target region by constructing new piped drinking water supply facilities that use surface water as the water source. It is expected that the project will improve the public health and living environment of the residents in the target region.