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WB emphasizes ‘Need for Speed’ in ‘Multi-phase Climate Mitigation Programme’ under Irrigation Ministry

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This was emphasized in a special discussion held between World Bank (WB) representatives including Dina Umali Didieninger, South Asia Regional Director for Sustainable Development of the WB, and Irrigation Ministry officials including Wildlife, Forest Conservation and Irrigation Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi.

The purpose of this meeting held at the Ministry of Irrigation on Monday afternoon (05) was to review the progress of the project and discuss future plans.

The representatives of the WB pointed out to approach a strategic plan to quickly reach the objectives related to the project. Both parties agreed to award and finalize contracts for projects worth up to 51 million US dollars by identifying and prioritizing economically more productive parts.

Also, in the discussion held between the officials of the WB and Irrigation Ministry, it was decided to implement and complete the relevant programme within the specified target dates.

On this occasion, Irrigation State Minister Shashendra Rajapaksa and WB representatives including Abhas JHA, Training Manager of South Asian Regional Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Unit of World Bank, Secretary of the Ministry of Irrigation Saman Darshana Padikorala, Project Director Bandula Sirimal and other officers were present.

The multi-phase programme to reduce climate impacts, which started in 2021, is being implemented under three phases. The total cost of the project is USD 434 million. The amount spent for its first phase is US$ 93 million, of which US$ 92 million will be provided by the WB and US$ 1 million will be spent from Sri Lankan government funds. The first phase is scheduled to be completed in 2026.

The first phase has five main components.

(01) Development of early warning technical methods and installation of the main operation room for the flood in rainy season.

(02) Construction of the permanent salt barrier to replace the temporary salt barrier constructed at Ambatale across the Kelani River and preparation of the engineering plan for the construction of the Yatianthota Wee Oya Reservoir which is part of the proposed project of supplying water to the city of Colombo and the Port City of Colombo.

(03) Project Management.

(04) To provide financial assistance to control the effects of water-related disasters at any time.

(05) Providing infrastructure for food crop cultivation through maintenance and rehabilitation of rural tanks, canals to achieve short-term economic strategies for the farmers affected by the economic crisis, thus creating food security. Under this, 15 million US dollars will be allocated for the 25 districts of the island, and steps will be taken to use the money for development activities through farmer organisations.

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