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* ADB grants Sri Lanka US$ 453 million loan to provide water from Mahaweli River to the dry zone
Sat, May 19, 2018, 07:41 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 19, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government has received a USD 453 million loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to implement Mahaweli Water Security Investment Program which provides water from the Mahaweli River to the dry zone.

The Mahaweli Water Security Investment Program is one of the major ongoing investment programs currently being implemented under the loan assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The project will accelerate the economic activities of Sri Lanka's northern dry zone region by transferring surplus water from the Mahaweli river basin for irrigation, drinking and commercial purposes.

The total investment cost of this program is USD 675 million of which USD 453 million will be provided by ADB under Multi - tranche Financing Facility (MFF). The Government of Sri Lanka has already signed two loan agreements with ADB to obtain USD 150 million to finance the first tranche of the program, the Finance Ministry said.

ADB's country director in Sri Lanka Sri Widowati on behalf of the ADB and Secretary to the Ministry of Finance Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga for the Government of Sri Lanka signed the two Loan Agreements to obtain USD 210 million to finance the second tranche on 18th May 2018 at the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media.

Three major investment projects; Upper Elahera Canal Project, North Western Province Canal Project, Minipe Left Bank Canal Rehabilitation Project will be implemented under the Mahaweli Water Security Investment Program.

The construction of new and improved water conveyance and storage infrastructure under this program will increase the productivity of agricultural lands in the North Western, North Central and Central Provinces. Constructions of 158 Km canals including 38 km of tunnels are being implemented. In addition construction of two new reservoirs with storage capacity of 36 MCM (Million Cubic Meters) are also included in the program. Rehabilitation of 74 km Minipe Left Bank Canal is also programmed under this investment.

Through the program, 25,000 farmer families under Upper Elahera Canal Project, 40,000 farmer families under North Western Province Canal Project and 15,000 farmer families under Minipe Left Bank Canal Rehabilitation Project will be directly benefited. In addition, provision of safe drinking water for people live in those areas will help to prevent Chronic Kidney Disease.

The proposed tranche will finance the (i) partial construction of approximately 28 km of tunnel of the 62 km conveyance canal linking the Moragahakanda and Hurluwewa reservoirs; (ii) partial construction of approximately 8.8 km of tunnels and conveyance canal linking the Kalu Ganga and Moragahakanda reservoirs (iii) continuing construction of the Mahakithula and Mahakirula Reservoirs, and Mahakithula Inlet Tunnel which has been initiated under Tranche 1 of this program.

The total investment cost of tranche 2 is USD 242 million. The Government will contribute USD 32 million and ADB will provide USD 210 million as two loans. The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment.


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