President Gotabaya Rajapaksa recently reviewed future stages of the programme to provide clean drinking water to all households for all 24-hours of the day, before the end of 2025.
He pointed out the need to expedite the programme while paying special attention to the cleaning and conservation of rivers, streams and catchment areas.
The President made these remarks at a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat on Thursday on the future activities of the State Ministry of Rural and Regional Drinking Water Supply
“Water for All” is a flagship pledge made to the people by the National Policy Framework ‘Vistas of Prosperity
The government expects to provide drinking water facility 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 supply pipes.
The project is to be completed at half of the cost spent so far on water supply. Water generation and conservation and water source identification are some of the features of the programme. Tree planting is also planned to ensure the conservation of water sources.
In the Colombo district alone, 45 percent of the total water supply was wasted due to water leaks. Laying of new water supply pipes in the past few months has resulted in reducing it to 15 percent. In order to preserve water new pipes are now being laid to replace old ones that cause water leaking, officials said. During the meeting, the President also focused attention on resolving the issues of the employees of community water projects. It was also agreed that the Road Development Authority and the Water Supply Board must jointly implement development plans with the aim of preventing wastage of national wealth in the process of laying of water pipes damaging the roads.
It was highlighted that it could help save about 30 percent of the total cost of meeting the country’s drinking water needs.
It was discussed in detail regarding rainwater harvesting and the expansion of tank and reservoir capacity in the island and construction of a new tank and reservoir network. The new plan also includes the introduction of projects with new canals and pipelines to carry water to water-deficient areas.
Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Minister of State Sanath Nishantha, Head of the Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival Basil Rajapaksa, Secretary to the President P.B. Jayasundera, Secretaries to the Cabinet and State Ministries, officials of line institutions and representatives of community water projects were present at the discussion.