Search

 

Cablegate: Sri Lanka - an Excellent Candidate Model

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 COLOMBO 001820

SIPDIS

DEPT PLEASE PASS TO OES/PCI - AARON SALZBERG,
USAID, EPA, HHS AND DEPT OF INTERIOR; KATHMANDU FOR
REO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EAID KSCA SENV TSPL CE
SUBJECT: SRI LANKA - AN EXCELLENT CANDIDATE MODEL
COUNTRY ON WATER FOR THE UN COMMISSION ON
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

REF: STATE 275504

1. Summary: Sri Lanka is an ideal model candidate
on water. The GSL has identified water as a
priority and has the political will and adequate
good governance to see it happen. Because of the
government's intentions to provide safe water to
the entire population by 2010, improve water
management, invite private sector participation and
review water pricing, it is a good time to engage
stakeholders to develop projects. There is
substantial international donor financing, local
expertise and a role for the private sector. Post
would be willing to facilitate creation of
partnerships. End Summary.

Current Situation
-----------------
2. There is a need for action in this sector: water
supply reaches only 57% of the rural population and
piped water is available to only 29% of the
population. The GSL has identified water as a
priority and has included water in its development
agenda. The Government has adopted a water policy,
which seeks to provide safe water to the entire
population by 2010, improve water management,
invite private sector participation and water
pricing. Supporting legislation is expected to be
presented to Parliament in 2004.

3. Sri Lanka wants to be a leader for the
developing world in providing social
infrastructure, including safe water. The GSL
wishes to promote people-friendly water projects
and also private/public partnerships in the water
sector. A project on a municipal or village scale
is feasible, and could provide a viable model.

Donor Support
-------------
4. There is substantial international donor support
for Sri Lanka's water sector. Some of the donor
money pledged in Tokyo Donors' Conference($4.5
billion) will go toward water projects not yet
identified. Current ADB projects include Water
Supply and Sanitation ($75 million) and Water
Resource Management ($28 million). Proposed ADB
projects include $60.3 million for a secondary town
and rural water project to expand access to safe
water and sanitation in three provinces, including
areas affected by the war, and a greater Colombo
waste water treatment project. ADB Technical
Assistance will support water supply sector reforms
with assistance to establish a water regulator in
the public utilities commission.

5. Other donors include the World Bank, which
proposed a loan of $40 million for community water.
Two additional sewerage projects are being planned
with Japanese funding for Kandy and Nuwara Eliya,
cities located in the hill country. To date, post
support for this sector has been through USAID/AEP
in the areas of training, technical assistance and
capacity building for water sector professionals
and planners. Post could facilitate linkages
between the major donor agencies, local experts and
private sector participants.

Existing Mechanisms and Coordination
------------------------------------
6. The National Water Supply and Drainage Board,
under the Ministry of Housing and Plantation
Infrastructure, currently is the principal
authority for provision of safe drinking water and
sanitation facilities. The draft National Water
Resources Law contains provisions for equitable
water allocation and pricing, and the establishment
of a National Water Resources Authority (NWRA).
NWRA will guide the implementation of the water
act, coordinate activities of agencies active in
water planning and water use, and will be
responsible for planning of water at the national,
multi-basin and basin-aquifer level. There will
also be an independent regulatory authority to set
tariffs and regulate water delivery quality.

7. The draft policy also considers water a basic
human need and but also recognizes its economic
value. According to the policy, users should
contribute to investments and bear the recurrent
costs of drinking water, and utilizing sewage and
sanitation services. The new modes of delivery of
safe water and primary sanitation facilities will
increasingly rely on public-private partnerships.

8. Comment: The GSL is pursuing economic reform and
peace, while trying to strengthen the social
infrastructure. It is also pursuing a more
activist stance in international organizations,
striving to be a leader in the region. Post
believes it would welcome this opportunity to be a
model. End comment.

LUNSTEAD

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Myanmar: UN Condemns Escalating Violence In Deadliest Day Of Protests So Far

In response to the killing of at least 18 protesters demonstrating against Myanmar’s military coup, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) on Sunday together with the UN chief, strongly condemned the “escalating violence” and called for an immediate end to the use of force... More>>

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs


UNFCCC: Greater Climate Ambition Urged As Initial NDC Synthesis Report Is Published

UN Climate Change today published the Initial NDC Synthesis Report, showing nations must redouble efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021 if they’re to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2°C—ideally 1.5°C—by the end of the century... More>>


2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>


Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at webtv.un.org UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>