UNICEF Supported Tangalle Water Supply Scheme Completed
Construction work and testing of the Tangalle Water Supply scheme in the south of the country has recently been completed, while the Tirukovil Water supply scheme is making steady progress. These UNICEF supported projects are aimed at providing a sustainable safe water supply to tsunami affected families and host communities in both Hambantota and Ampara districts and are being completed with the full collaboration of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWS&DB).
The 18 month Tangalle project, costing 10 million US dollars which is due to be commissioned shortly, entails increasing the current capacity of 2500 cubic metres per day to 6500 cubic metres per day to enable a total output of 9300 cubic metres per day. 52,000 persons will soon have access to safe drinking water and this number will increase to 65,000 persons in 2025.
The main components of the project includes : rehabilitation of existing treatment plants and construction of a new Treatment Plant at Nalagama, ensuring extension of the water supply to Nalagama, Palapotha, Beliatta and Hathbodiya areas, construction of four new reservoirs at Palapotha, Hathbodiya, Nalagama, Tangalle Town and Beliatta. Developing an additional water source by building a new bund at Navayanvila to supplement the raw water supply and the laying of 42 kilometres of pipeline for transmission and distribution is also included.
Tangalle is a tsunami hit area with a limited number of water sources to produce safe, drinking water. The existing water supply facility has been in operation since 1953 and has an intermittent supply of water, i.e. less than 24 hours a day. The lack of fresh water resources along the coastal belt had been a major issue in providing drinking water to the people of the area.
National Water Supply and Drainage Board’s Hambantotata Regional Manager, Mr. Soysa, says “ .. I have been here for the past nine years and know full well the travails of the people. Because of the severe drinking water problem the hardships they under go are inexpressible.. sometimes women have to traverse almost kilometer in search of water…..And now, after 54 years, thanks to the tsunami, it is possible to provide safe drinking water to the people living in these areas – Seenimodera, Kadurupokuna, Hunapuruwa, Unakuruwa, Polommaruwa, Palapotha, Pallikodawa, Sitinamaluwa,Kambussawela,Tangalle and Beliatta AGS divisions.
UNICEF works in over 150 countries to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.