Rehabilitating Vadamarachchi Lagoon to become a reality: Drinking water for Jaffna | Sunday Observer

Rehabilitating Vadamarachchi Lagoon to become a reality: Drinking water for Jaffna

Scarcity of drinking water in the Jaffna peninsula may be resolved by next year with the rehabilitation of the Vadamarachchi lagoon becoming a reality.

Previously, the Prime Minister in his capacity as the Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs presented a cabinet paper for a study on the supply of potable water to the population in the Jaffna peninsula through the development of water resources in the Vadamarachchi lagoon.

Last week the Cabinet gave the green light to the project after perusing the study.

“The project which is estimated to cost Rs 2000 million for the supply of safe drinking water to the people in the Jaffna peninsula in accordance with the feasibility study made on the proposed project, was approved by the Cabinet,” a Cabinet release announced.

Accordingly, it was decided to establish a desalination water plant to purify sea water.

In addition it was proposed to store the rainwater from the rains that occur during the period October to December in an area of 10 km of the Vadamarachchi lagoon and to implement a potable water supply out of the water so collected.

“During the rainy season, the area receives a rainfall of about 50 inches. However, due to the shallow nature of the lagoon and the high temperature the water evaporates within a very short period of time,” Additional Secretary, Ministry of Irrigation, Water Resources and Disaster Management, Engineer D.D. Ariyaratne told the Sunday Observer.

Currently, through various water projects, only nine per cent of the people in the peninsula receive potable water out of a total population of 600,000. According to Ariyaratne preparations are now being made to initiate the project soon.

However, they are waiting for clearance from the Wildlife Department to issue an area of land for the project, that comes under the Wildlife Department.

“The Irrigation Department has the capacity to do the project, however, it has still not been finalised if the project will be handed over to the irrigation department or fresh bids will be called for from private parties,” Ariyaratne said.

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