World Bank grants Sri Lanka $40 million additional financings to improve water and sanitation services

The World Bank’s board of executive directors has approved USD 40 million in additional financing for Sri Lanka to expand water supply, sanitation, and hygiene services in seven districts through the Water Supply and Sanitation Improvement Project (WASSIP)

Jun 13, 2021
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World Bank

The World Bank’s board of executive directors has approved USD 40 million in additional financing for Sri Lanka to expand water supply, sanitation, and hygiene services in seven districts through the Water Supply and Sanitation Improvement Project (WASSIP).

The project will also increase septage facilities in the more populated part of the country in Western, Southern and North-Western Provinces, ColomboPage reported.

WASSIP is the third water sector project financed by the World Bank since 1998 to provide safe drinking water and sanitation in rural and urban areas of Sri Lanka. With the additional financing, the project will support the Government of Sri Lanka’s “Water for all” pledge to cover 4.7 million people in the next four years.

The project finances new water supply systems, rehabilitation of existing water supply systems, toilets for households and schools, and septage treatment plants. To ensure sustainability, local community-based organizations are trained to operate and maintain the systems. Each household agrees to pay a tariff that ensures that operation, maintenance, and replacement costs can be covered.

“Building safe water supply and sanitation systems to ensure a healthy nation is crucial as Sri Lanka battles the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Faris Hadad-Zervos, World Bank Country Director for Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

“Building on the good results of the parent project, the additional finance will extend coverage to areas of the country that are most vulnerable to climate related risks and have the highest level of poverty.”

The project has already reached about 310,000 people in Badulla, Nuwara Eliya, Kegalle, Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Ratnapura and Moneragala. New beneficiaries are being added daily as construction of ongoing schemes is completed and households receive water connections.

The project has completed almost 80 water supply systems, more than 18,000 toilets and 30 schools have been provided with improved sanitation facilities, including menstrual hygiene facilities where needed.

The loan is provided by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). The variable spread loan has a final maturity of 18 years, including a grace period of five years.

(SAM)