(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Sri Lanka President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has focused his attention on the future plans of the program to provide clean drinking water to all households 24 hours a day before the end of 2025.
A discussion was held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (03) on the future plans of the State Ministry of Rural and Regional Water Supply Project Development.
There is a need to expedite the program by paying special attention to the cleaning and keeping rivers, lakes and reservoir/tanks free from contamination and pollution, as the “Water for All” is a flagship pledge made to the people by the ‘Vision of Prosperity’ election manifesto, the President noted.
The government expects to provide water to 4.7 million families in the next four years. The project is being implemented with local and foreign funds and will require the laying of 40,000 km of new water pipes. The project is expected to be completed at half of the cost of water supply so far. Water Generation and Conservation, and identifying water sources are several steps in the program. Planting is also planned for the conservation of water nutrient sources.
In the Colombo district alone, 45% of the total water supply was wasted due to water leaks. In the past few months, new water pipes have been installed to reduce it to 15%. As a precautionary measure, leaks have been identified and new water pipes are being laid, officials said.
It is also planned to purify the water distributed under community water projects to a high standard and supply it to households.
The President also drew the attention of the officials to the problems of the community water project workers.
It was also agreed that the Road Development Authority and the Water Supply Board will jointly implement development plans to prevent damage to roads and consequent destruction of national wealth during the laying of water pipes. It was revealed that it could save about 30% of the total cost of meeting the country’s drinking water needs.
Rainwater harvesting and capacity building of tanks and reservoirs in the island and construction of new tanks and reservoirs were also discussed at length. The new plan also includes the introduction of new canals and pipeline projects to carry water to water-deficient areas.
Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Minister of State Sanath Nishantha, Chief of the Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival Basil Rajapaksa, Secretary to the President PB Jayasundera, Secretaries to Cabinet and State Ministries, officials of line agencies and representatives of community water projects were present at the discussion.