Home » Government accelerates World Bank funded Climate Resilience programme.

Government accelerates World Bank funded Climate Resilience programme.


By: Staff Writer

March 09, Colombo (LNW): The government has accelerated the World Bank funded US$434 million Climate Resilience Multi-Phased Programme to be expedited as it was carried out in slow pace since 2021, irrigation ministry announced.

“This project is all about protecting people’s lives, property, and public assets,” said Faris Hadad-Zervos, Country Director of the World Bank for Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

“Investments to modernize existing systems with state-of-the-art technology and to international standards will help the Government realize its vision of a disaster-resilient Sri Lanka”he said , noting that public support and coordination among core stakeholders will lead to the success of this project.

The Government and the World Bank signed a US $92 million financing agreement for the Phase I of the project which was expected to benefit around 11.2 million people across the country by modernising the weather, flood, and landslide forecasting and early warning systems.

The project builds on the successful collaboration between the government and World Bank in flood-risk mitigation and long-term resilience to climate risks, which began in 2010 with the Dam Safety and Water Resources Planning project, followed by the Metro Colombo Urban Development Project in 2012 and through the Climate Resilience Improvement Project in 2014.

The COVID-19 pandemic, and the country’s economic crisis have received the government’s attention and priority making other important issues, like the effects of climate change less important , a senior official of the ministry said.

A progress review meeting of the project was held at the irrigation ministry recently with the participation of minster Pavithra Wanniarachchi, state minister Sashindra Rajapaksa, several senior officials and World Bank representatives.

The South Asia Regional Director for Sustainable Development at the World Bank. Dina Umali-Deininger and other representatives have suggested a strategic plan to achieve the objectives of project expeditiously.

The two sides agreed to award relevant contracts for projects up to the amount of $ 51million giving priory to economically productive areas as soon as possible under the phase 1 which will be completed by 2026. .

The project will support the government departments to better forecast weather-related hazards, improve early warning systems, and invest in flood resilient infrastructure. It will also lay the foundation for reducing flood risks in the Kelani River basin in the long run.

Measures will be taken to ensure safe and reliable drinking water supply for Colombo by improving the salinity barrier at Ambathale, and long-term climate resilience in the Kelani River basin through studies and detailed investment proposals for multi-purpose flood resilience infrastructure in the next project phases

It will also be improving the salinity barrier at Ambathale,. The project builds on years of experience, technical studies, and close consultation with stakeholders – relevant government departments, project affected people and civil society groups.

A sum of $15 million will be allocated for 25 districts to maintain and rehabilitate rural tanks and canal ways for the benefit of farmers effected by economic crisis.

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