Additional World Bank Funding to Improve Water and Sanitation Services in Sri Lanka
With the additional funding, the project is expected to reach over one million beneficiaries in total.
WASHINGTON, June 10, 2021 – The World Bank Board of Directors has approved additional funding of $ 40 million for Sri Lanka to expand water, sanitation and hygiene services in 7 districts through the Water Supply and Sanitation Improvement Project (WASSIP). The project will also increase treatment facilities in the most populated part of the country in the western, southern and northwestern provinces.
WASSIP is the third water sector project funded by the World Bank since 1998 to provide safe drinking water and sanitation in rural, real estate and urban areas of Sri Lanka. With the additional funding, the project will support the Government of Sri Lanka’s “Water for All” commitment to reach 4.7 million people over the next four years.
The project finances new water supply systems, the rehabilitation of existing water supply systems, toilets for households and schools, and sludge treatment plants. To ensure sustainability, local community organizations are trained to operate and maintain the systems. Each household agrees to pay a rate that guarantees coverage of operating, maintenance and replacement costs.
“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, country director of the World Bank for the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. “Building on the good results of the parent project, the additional funding will extend coverage to areas of the country most vulnerable to climate-related risks and with the highest level of poverty. “
The project has already reached around 310,000 people in Badulla, Nuwara Eliya, Kegalle, Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Ratnapura and Moneragala. New beneficiaries are added daily as the construction of the current perimeters is completed and households receive water connections. The project completed nearly 80 water supply systems, more than 18,000 toilets and 30 schools were provided with improved sanitation facilities, including menstrual hygiene facilities if needed.
The project is implemented by the Ministry of Water Supply and the project management unit includes staff from the National Water Supply and Sanitation Board (NWSDB). A project steering committee has been set up at the national level to provide guidance. The National Community Supply Department actively supports the implementation of service delivery in rural areas and the Plantation Human Development Trust (PHDT) supports service delivery in plantations.
“It is the only project that provides treated piped water to the rural and real estate sectors of Sri Lanka,” said Pratibha Mistry, World Bank task team leader for the project. “The project has shown that communities can manage and operate their own systems. Based on this experience, this additional funding aims to expand this model of service delivery in urban areas for improved sanitation.
The $ 40 million 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 5 years. This additional funding builds on an IDA credit of $ 165 million which funded the parent project which directly benefited more than 15,000 rural households.