ADB Continues Assistance to Improve Water and Wastewater Management in Colombo

COLOMBO, SRI LANKA – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $88 million loan to the Sri Lankan government for phase two of the Greater Colombo Water and Wastewater Management Improvement Investment Program.

The Multitranche Financing Facility (MFF) will improve water and wastewater management services in Greater Colombo, helping the government to achieve its goal of providing safe water and full sanitation coverage for Greater Colombo under its Development Policy Framework.

“Though 95% of Colombo is covered by a piped water supply system, the distribution network was built more than 100 years ago. It no longer fully meets today’s needs. The system upgrade is expected to bring 24/7 water supply including to some areas which have only a mere six to 10 hour supply a day,” said Rita O’Sullivan, Country Director, Sri Lanka Resident Mission, ADB.

ADB’s MFF – totaling $300 million - will fund 20% of the $1.5 billion investment plan for water and sanitation in Greater Colombo. The first loan of $84 million was made in 2012 for phase one and subsequent loans for phases three and four are expected in 2015 and 2016.

This second project will rehabilitate and expand the water supply system while reducing nonrevenue water in the south of Colombo; strengthen the institutional structure and efficiency of service providers – the National Water Supply & Drainage Board and the Colombo Municipal Council; and complete designs and project readiness for phase three wastewater investments.

The loan will also be used to increase participation of low-income communities in water conservation, especially women, through the formation of water user groups. Women will be encouraged to take on leadership positions in these groups and also engage in water and wastewater awareness raising in their communities.