The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has signed a loan agreement with the government of Sri Lanka to provide a Japanese loan of up to 23.137 billion yen for a water supply project in Anuradhapura where there is high incidence of kidney disease.
Under the project, a water supply system will be built in the northern part of the 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, a JICA statement said.
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.
There are also regional disparities in piped water supply coverage in the country, JICA said.
The northern part of the Anuradhapura District, the target region of the project in Sri Lanka’s North Central Province, has a tap water coverage of merely 26.9 percent.
“Moreover, this region has high incidence of dental and skeletal fluorosis, which is caused by consuming groundwater with a high concentration of fluoride,” the statement said.
“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 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’s health and living environment of the residents in the target region,” JICA said.
(COLOMBO, Nov 17, 2016)