Feb 13, Colombo: Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena today launched a giant development project to supply water to the North Western (Wayamba) Province ending the suffering of people in the Province in irrigating farmland due to water scarcity.
President Sirisena launched the first stage of the North Western Province Canal Project (NWPCP) today (13) at a groundbreaking ceremony at the Wemedilla Left Bank Main Canal in Galewela.
Speaking at the public meeting held at the playground of Welamitiyawa Vidyalaya in Galewela, after launching the Wayamba Ela Project, the President said he will take every step to make country prosperous in agriculture.
"I will take every step to make the country prosperous in agriculture by enhancing the farmers' economy, as a President whose roots are of an agricultural family", said the President.
"I will take measures to solve the water issue by filling the large tanks with blue water so that the farmers will not face any shortages for irrigating their lands," he added.
He said it is everyone's responsibility to build the country by supporting the country's development without the divisions due to affiliation to political parties.
"Establishing or changing governments can be done at elections. But what we have to do today is to unite to build the country forgetting all arguments," the President stated.
"If the politicians and government officers honestly fulfill their responsibilities, it is not a difficult task to save the country from the difficulties it is facing today," the President pointed out.
The President further stated that the objective of the current government is to move towards development goals.
"We will fulfill our responsibility to build the motherland to be a great nation despite all challenges," the President stressed.
The Wayamba Ela Project which will minimize the difficulties faced by farmers due to lack of water is carried out with funding from Asian Development Bank.
After the completion of the project, the northern part of the Kurunegala District, will receive 105,000 acre-feet of Mahaweli water annually. Around 300 small streams and 8 main streams in the area will be nourished through the Mahaweli water and water can be released from the Hakwatuna Oya reservoir to cultivate 2,500 hectares of land. Water can also be released under the small streams of Mee-oya Jala-dara system to cultivate another 3,500 hectares of land. Through the project it will be able to release water to cultivate more than 12,000 hectares of land in both the Yala and Maha seasons.
In addition, provision of safe drinking water for people who live in those areas will help to prevent Chronic Kidney Disease. Direct and indirect employment opportunities will be opened for the people in the area due to the construction works. The project, estimated to cost around Rs. 16 billion, is scheduled to complete in 2024.
At the event, the President also presented title deeds to the people who lost their lands due to the project, under the resettlement program.
Ministers including S.B. Nawinna, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Gamini Jayawickrama Perera, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, State Minister T.B. Ekanayake, Deputy Ministers Lakshman Wasantha Perera, Tharanath Basnayake, Governor of the North Western Province, Amara Piyaseeli Ratnayake, Chief Minister, Dharmasiri Dassanayake, Chief Minister of Central Province, Sarath Ekanayake, Secretary for the Mahaweli Development & Environment Udaya R Seneviratne and the people in the area participated in the event.