World Bank funds Sri Lanka dam safety, water program

The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) has approved a US$65.33 million credit to the government of Sri Lanka to support a dam safety and water resources planning program.

The program is to improve operational efficiency of 80 dams and to establish sustainable institutional arrangements for safety management, and operations and maintenance of major dams. Special attention is to be given to 32 of the dams that have been listed as “high risk.”

The IDA credit has 20 years to maturity and a ten-year grace period. The total cost of the program is US$71.66 million, with Sri Lanka contributing the remaining US$6.33 million.

IDA previously provided US$50 million to Sri Lanka for dam safety and water resources management work. (HNN 3/7/07)

The current funding is to support preparation of a national water use plan and the preparation of feasibility studies of priority water development options. It also will support operation and monitoring of many of Sri Lanka’s water facilities, some that are centuries old.

“The project will improve the hydro-meteorological information system, including upgrading of 50 hydrometric stations, better flood protection procedures, and establishment of a groundwater monitoring system,” Nihal Fernando, World Bank senior rural development specialist said.

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