JICA help for Kandy sanitation upgrade | Sunday Observer

JICA help for Kandy sanitation upgrade

23 October, 2016
The team of Japanese experts working with the National Water Supply and Drainage Board.

 Kandy, the hill capital of Sri Lanka is famous for its beauty, but behind its beauty are the hidden polluted canals and rivers due to the absence of a proper sewerage system. It poses a big threat to health due to the environment being polluted by the water from toilets in the city.

However, this situation will soon be changed through a waste water management and sewerage project financed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

A media briefing was held to provide first hand insight on JICA’s contribution to the development of the historical city at the Tourmaline Hotel, Kandy recently. The media persons also got the opportunity to visit the waste water disposal plant site during the tour. The project’s local partner is the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB).

Project Director, NWSDB, Wasantha Illangasinghe said, “Landslides occur in areas when untreated water seeps into the soil in the absence of septic tanks. The deterioration in the quality of water in rivers and the lake has increased with the increase of population, their activities, and use of water.”

“At present the city could accommodate 110,000 permanent residents while receiving 150,000 commuters daily, and therefore, Waste Water Management System is an important requirement,” she said.

Illangasinghe said the proposed Waste Water Management system aims to tackle these issues altogether. “As the sewerage treatment plant is installed, it is expected to improve the water quality of the Mahaweli river, one of the major water sources in the country. The improvement of the water quality in the upper stream will have a positive impact for downstream areas. The project is being managed by the National Water Supply and Drainage Board.” JICA has given a concessional loan of Yen 14,087 million (Rs. 16,900 million). The proposed Waste Water Treatment Plant under Package-1 of the project with a capacity of 14,000m3/day utilizes the ‘Propeller-type Oxidation Ditch (OD) System’ which enables the efficient treatment of sewage through the high mixture with oxygen promoted by submersible propellers and air diffusers in the Aeration Tank.

The Japanese Company, JFE Engineering Corporation, proposed this system to the Sri Lankan Government in order to help reduce plant operation costs, which will be borne by the client after construction.

The project will also provide improved sanitation in densely populated and low income areas in Kandy, through the installment of in-house sanitation facility, and refurbishing public facilities.

Improved sanitation will help purify sanitary environment and health condition of the residents.JICA continuously supports the Sri Lankan Government in the management of sewerage problem. At present, a team of Japanese experts are working with the NWSDB in the preparation of an islandwide master plan for the sewerage sector in Sri Lanka.

Resident Japanese Engineer S. Horiuchi in charge of the Gannoruwa Waste Water Sewerage Plant, who is fluent in Sinhala, said, the current project will enhance sanitary environment of the community and improve the health condition of the people.

“One can imagine the size of the plant by looking at the massive pit that we have excavated. This was the first time that a waste water disposal facility has been constructed in Sri Lanka and we plan to complete the project by 2018,” he said.

The government has recognized the importance of sanitation services as an integral part of sustainable development of the country by achieving 100 per cent sanitation coverage by 2025 by providing access to onsite and offsite sanitation facilities.

The national goals in the sanitation sector are access to adequate sanitation made available to 93 per cent of the population of Sri Lanka by 2015 and 100 per cent by 2025.