Dams need renovations for effective supply of water
Due to lack of coordination between institutions that manage water
resources serious issues have been created in the water sector of the
country said the director of the Dam Safety and Water Resource
Planning Project (DSWRP) D.C.S. Elakanda.
Department of Irrigation, Ceylon Electricity Board, Water Supply and
Drainage Board, Department of Agriculture, Mahaweli Authority are the
main stakeholders in the water sector. Today these institutions take
individual decisions in managing the resources and to face specific
issues. Under DSWRP first time the government has brought all the
stakeholders in planning the water sector and to find solutions to the
problems they face, he said. DSWRP project of the Ministry of
Agriculture is funded by the World Bank.
He said that out of the 85 big dams in the country 32 have
dilapidated and need immediate renovation. Our dams are aging and they
are in dire need of repair and maintenance because operational
efficiency of them have reduced significantly, he said.
He was addressing a meeting held to conclude the construction and
socio environmental impacts mitigation plan of the Thabbowa tank
rehabilitation project. Tabbowa is the first tank rehabilitated under
the DSWRP project. The construction work will be launched in May 2010.
The meeting was headed by the Puttalam District Secretary Kingsley
Officials from irrigation, agriculture, Govijana Seva, forest,
archaeological and wild life departments attended and discussed the
construction design, work plan and minimising the damages to the people
and the environment.
The Tabbowa tank was reconstructed in 1004 by the Department of
Irrigation. Since then major repairs have not been done and as a result
the dam, slews and speel has cracked and there are water leakages. This
is posing a serious threat to the lives and properties of over 1250
farmer families in the down stream of the tank.The tank has 15,000
acre-feet capacity and nourishes 2090 acres of paddy fields. Tabbowa
tank is the main water source of the Puttalam district and as a measure
to reduce the risk the tank is not filled to capacity. Therefore the
farmers have faced water shortages and their crops in this Yala season
is under threat. The officials agreed to complete the project by
September 15 before the 2010 Maha season starts.