World Bank's Lead Agriculture Specialist Andrew Goodland said, that for Colombo to continue to prosper and provide good living conditions for its residents requires improved management of floods.
Making his remarks at the breakthrough ceremony of the New Mutwal Storm Water Drainage Tunnel, Colombo, he said that this project was an example of the long and productive partnership between the Government of Sri Lanka and the World Bank.
"The MCUDP is financing large and complex flood management investments across the city. This infrastructure includes a network of pumping stations, canal bank protection, and drainage tunnels – such as in Mutwal where we are gathered today. Some highlights include:
· The completion of over 20 sub-projects to improve the drainage capacity and canals to reduce risks of localised flooding;
· Building and rehabilitating approximately 45 kilometres of roads including improving the Galle and Duplication Roads;
· Designed and opened Colombo’s first urban wetland park at Beddegana and securing legal protection of the remaining wetlands in the Colombo Metropolitan Area and making Colombo the first South Asian Ramsar accredited wetland city;
· Ten on-going sub-projects to be completed in the coming months, which include large pumping stations; Ambatale, North Lock, and St Sebastian South and this tunnel contract.
“Together these projects will help to reduce flooding in Colombo. These investments are needed more than ever as the world faces the consequences of climate change, as weather patterns turn unpredictable and we face more and more natural disasters, the only way forward is to build the resilience of a country, it cities and its people. That is what we aim to do, for which we will continue to proudly partner with the Government of Sri Lanka,” he said.