Sept 12, Colombo: The inception workshop of the Climate Resilient Integrated Water Management Project, which was developed by the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment with the technical assistance of the UNDP Sri Lanka was held today (12) in Colombo.
This is one of the first projects financed by the newly established Green Climate Fund, with a funding envelope of USD 38.08 Million, which will be utilized to serve climate vulnerable communities in three river basins of Sri Lanka's Dry Zone, Mi Oya, Yan Oya, and Malwathu Oya.
The project looks at 'Strengthening the resilience of smallholder farmers in the Dry Zone to climate variability and extreme events' through an integrated approach to water management.
The project, working in Anuradhapura, Kurunegala, Mannar, Polonnaruwa, Puttalam, Trincomalee and Vavuniya districts, aims to increase resilience of health and well-being, and food and water security of vulnerable communities in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka.
Through the project, the Ministry and UNDP aims to reach approximately 770,500 people in three river basins - Malwatu Oya, Yan Oya and Mi Oya - vulnerable to climate change. Moreover, around 1.17 million people living in the same areas will indirectly benefit from the project.
Anura Dissanayake, Secretary, Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, speaking at the event said under this project, over the next seven years, Sri Lanka will work with UNDP and other government institutions to strengthen the resilience of vulnerable smallholder farmers in the country's Dry Zone who are facing increasing risks of rising temperatures, erratic rainfall, and extreme events attributable to climate change.
In addition to the grant, Government of Sri Lanka will leverage Government co-financing amounting to USD 14 million for this project to address several financial, technical, and institutional barriers related to achieving integrated water management to improve agriculture-based livelihoods of smallholder farmers in the Dry Zone.
Speaking at the event, Ms. Lovita Ramguttee, Country Director a.i., said water is closely linked to health, well-being, living conditions, food, income and electricity generation in Sri Lanka.
"As such, with its focus on managing multiple uses of water in Dry Zone villages, this project will demonstrate a way in which local people have more control over how water is managed and how men and women will both benefit from having water for drinking and irrigation in their villages."
Sri Lanka's proposal, facilitated by UNDP, was approved by the Green Climate Fund Board last year, and is the largest climate related grant to be received by Sri Lanka.