An Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan package to the government of Sri Lanka, amounting to Japanese Yen 36.7 billion (Rs.46 billion) will finance four major infrastructure development projects in the country.
The projects include a provincial/rural road development in the Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern provinces, an Eastern province water supply development project, a Kandy city wastewater management project and additional financing for the Upper Kotmale Hydro Power Project. The loans are offered on highly concessionary terms and administered by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The agreement for the 40th package of ODA loan to Sri Lanka was signed on March 26 in Colombo.
A JICA press release stated that the four projects have been jointly formulated by the government and JICA in accordance with priorities identified by the government. The projects are expected to contribute to developing the social and economic infrastructure to meet basic human needs in rural areas as well as the conflict affected Eastern province.
The provincial/rural road development project in the Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern provinces is expected to benefit 132,960 beneficiaries of the recently completed JICA assisted Pro-poor Rural Development Project (PRDP). According to JICA, the new project aims to expand the benefits proven by the PRDP to other conflict affected areas of the Eastern province through the development of around 300 km of community road. It will also establish an active transportation network in the Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces by rehabilitating about 350 km of provincial roads.
The eastern province water supply development project aims to improve access to safe water of 52,000 households in the Eastern province. JICA said access to water has a positive impact on people’s livelihoods and improves living conditions, sanitation and health.
The Kandy city wastewater management project will develop a modern sewerage system to cover approximately 55,000 people. According to JICA, the installation of a new sewerage system will improve water quality of the Mahaweli River, one of the major water sources in the country. The project will also provide improved sanitation in densely populated and low income areas in Kandy through installment of in-house sanitation facilities and refurbishing public facilities.
Additional financing for the Upper Kotmale Hydro Power Project is expected to provide a stable power supply which is essential for economic growth and environmental preservation. The financing will also help improve the power supply capabilities which will eliminate the demand-supply gap of power in the future.