The United States is providing people across Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province with better access to water for drinking and farming, through three new projects with the help of the United States Agency for International Development, or USAID.
“Through projects big and small, the United States is committed to improving the daily lives of Sri Lankans, especially those who suffer most from natural disasters,” said U.S. Ambassador Atul Keshap.
In Batticaloa’s flood and drought prone Sithandy region, 475 families have received new pipes to provide direct home connections to safe drinking water, with plans for another 525 families to participate.
The project will also clean 1,600 wells affected by floods and promote better hygiene by reducing water-borne diseases for 4,000 families. Partnering with PALM Foundation, a local organization, this builds upon the success of an earlier project supplying 2,700 households with piped water.
In addition, USAID recently opened a rehabilitated a canal and handed over rainwater harvesting tanks to two schools in Ampara. Working with a local group Pergamana Guild, the canal and feeder reservoirs in Annamalei and Navithanveli will boost the production and incomes for 300 farming families.
Through its partner Lanka Rain Water Harvesting Forum, USAID handed over separate 30,000-liter rainwater harvesting tanks to two schools in Samanthurai and Damana to supply students and teachers with a crucial water source for drinking, sanitation, and other purposes during droughts.
"The United States,” noted Ambassador Keshap, “is proud to have invested over $2 billion since 1956 to contribute to Sri Lanka’s development and help its people improve their living standards.”