Mar 28, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a ceremony held in Temple Trees today introduced a national policy on community water usage to provide safe drinking water to the entire country.
The national policy on community water usage will provide a framework to use community water projects in a more productive manner, the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) said.
Sri Lanka plans to increase availability of safe drinking water in the country from the current 81 percent to 94 percent by year 2015 and to 100 percent by year 2020.
About 4,000 small piped water projects, most of which use groundwater in the form of bore holes or large dug wells, are being implemented in Matara, Hambantota, Ratnapura, Badulla, Gampaha, Colombo, Ampara and Trincomalee with the participation of community based organizations (CBOs).
The NWSDB together with UNICEF has launched an accelerated groundwater development program in order to accomplish the expected growth in the rural sector.
During the ceremony, the President presented certificates of registration and memberships for this year to the community based organizations and district officers.
Minister of Water Supply & Drainage Dinesh Gunawardena, Central Province Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake, Western Province Chief Minister Abdul Najid Majeed, Deputy Ministers S.M. Chandrasena, and Nirupama Rajapaksa, and Secretary to the Ministry of Water Supply & Drainage Amarananda Abeygunawardena were also present at the occasion.
(Photos by Chandana Perera)