(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Sri Lanka and China on Wednesday signed a supplementary agreement on a Memorandum of Understanding on water research and technology cooperation, aimed at providing clean drinking water to several areas of the country, a statement from the Chinese Embassy in Colombo said.
Hu Wei, Chargé d’affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka on behalf of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Minister of Water Supply Vasudeva Nanayakkara signed the “Memorandum of Cooperation between the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Sri Lankan Ministry of Water Supply” at the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka on Wednesday (14th OCT).
The supplementary agreement, which was a follow-up of the original MoU between the two countries inked in March 2015 to tackle the chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology (CKDu) and provide clean drinking water for CKDu prevalence areas in Sri Lanka, further strengthens the established cooperation between the two parties in the fields of water quality research and renal disease traceability, the Embassy said.
Chargé d’affaires Hu Wei said China and Sri Lanka have been friendly for generations and China attaches great importance to the drinking water quality and health issues raised by Sri Lankan leaders.
China has conducted close cooperation with Sri Lanka on water quality research, kidney disease tracing, and training through relevant mechanisms, achieving remarkable results.
The cooperation between the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Sri Lanka Water Supply Department, especially the China-Sri Lanka Joint Research and Demonstration Centre for Water Technology project, is progressing smoothly, and the construction of the National Kidney Hospital assisted by China is also accelerating. It is believed that relevant cooperation will further enhance the welfare of the Sri Lankan people, the envoy said.
Minister Nanayakkara highly appreciating China’s long-term support for Sri Lanka’s national development and selfless help to the people’s livelihood, said the cooperation between the two sides in the fields of water supply, water research, kidney disease prevention and treatment has brought tangible benefits to the Sri Lankan people.
Sri Lanka will work closely with China and continue to actively promote related work in the fields of water supply and scientific research between the two countries to the betterment of the two peoples, the Sri Lankan Minister said.
Under the MoU, the a state-of-the-art Joint Research and Demonstration Center for Water Technology focusing on researching and solving the problem of unexplained chronic kidney disease in Sri Lanka was established in the campus of the University of Peradeniya in 2018 and the construction of the Center has progressed smoothly.
China has built three small-scale groundwater purification demonstration projects and installed more than 20 sets of rainwater utilization devices, providing drinking water to more than 4,000 villagers and 1,300 primary school students in areas with unknown kidney disease.
At the same time, the two sides have frequent academic exchanges. The Chinese Academy of Sciences has trained 66 water and medical professionals for Sri Lanka, and 53 Sri Lankan graduate students (including 19 doctoral students) are studying at the center.
Under the supplementary agreement, the Chinese Academy of Sciences will keep funding the cooperation of the center in the next five years.