Apr 23, Colombo: Addressing the 4th Asia-Pacific Water Summit (4th APWS) today, Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that the government’s national goal is to provide clean water, sanitation and water-related infrastructure to all in the next three years.
Virtually addressing today’s Summit held in Kumamoto, Japan the President said that new water projects are planned to be launched throughout the country, improving the capacity and quality of existing water supply schemes.
This year’s conference, under the theme "Water for Sustainable Development: Best Practices and the Next Generation", will be attended by heads of state and international organizations from 48 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan.
The conference will discuss various issues related to water and how to implement the recommendations given in the "Yangon Declaration" adopted at the 3rd Asia-Pacific Summit 2017 in Myanmar.
The results of this summit will be announced to the world at the United Nations Water Conference, scheduled to be held in March 2023, as the "Kumamoto Declaration", which is a collection of the high expectations by top leaders to resolve water-related issues.
"We must work together to solve these problems,” Yoshiyuki Mori, President of the Asia-Pacific Water Summit, said.
“Water issues are fundamental to many of society’s challenges, such as climate change and natural disasters, sanitation and poverty. Water-related disasters have increased worldwide in recent years. In the Asia-Pacific region, water-related disasters have tripled in the past 30 years,” Mori noted.
“Improving the local sanitation environment by using water is essential to eradicate poverty. We look forward to sharing our expertise with other countries in the Asia-Pacific region,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said delivering the keynote address.
President Rajapaksa pointed out that despite the Covid-19 epidemic in the past two years, the government has been able to provide more than 50% more water to the public than in any other year. The President added that they were able to implement water projects to improve water cycle management.
Access to resources is being hampered as a result of the financial crisis caused by the Covid epidemic. However, during the last two years, priority was given to development activities using the principle of participatory development, which is the principle of his government’s development efforts.
The President recalled that the Government of Sri Lanka welcomes the assistance given at this critical juncture for investment opportunities for economic progress as well as sustainable efforts, technology transfer, funding, comprehensive development assistance and loan restructuring.
Sri Lankan Ambassador to Japan Sanjiv Gunasekara representing the Government of Sri Lanka attended the inauguration ceremony and the Heads of State Summit in Japan.