AFD promotes Integrated Water Resources Management in the East

Source: The Sunday Times (Sri Lanka)

Martin ParentAs part of its mandate to promote green and socially inclusive growth in Sri Lanka, the French Agency for Development (AFD) is exploring the possibility of implementing a development project in Mundeni Aru Basin in Batticaloa and Ampara districts.

This project estimated to cost more than 100 million Euros would benefit the population among the most vulnerable of the island, mainly through a support to farming activities in an area frequently impacted by droughts but also by reducing the risk of flooding, Martin Parent AFD Director, Sri Lanka and Maldives, told the Business Times

An AFD mission paid an observation visit to the Eastern Province recently to identify this project with a view of devising an implementation plan. The mission was conducted with the technical support of Société Canal de Provence (SCP), a French company recognized for its expertise for water management in France.

This company carries out a public service mission for irrigation, as well as water supply for agricultural and industrial sectors, Mr. Parent said.

Members of the mission held several meetings with farmers’ organizations, provincial authorities, Batticaloa District Secretary, local authorities as well as the Department of Irrigation and the Department of Agriculture.

The mission also carried out field visits of irrigable areas, existing reservoirs and a future reservoir’s location.

AFD will continue talks with the government in the coming months to finalize the scope of the project, Mr. Parent said adding that the Mundeni Aru Basin Development Project aims to merge two existing reservoirs (Rugam and Kitulwewa) downstream the Mundeni Aru River to increase cropping intensity for rice production but also to develop other food crops (soya, onions, maize, sugar cane) on new irrigable areas.

The project also aims to build a second reservoir in the Ampara district which will also be multipurpose and create new irrigable areas and mitigate floods downstream the Mundeni Aru Basin.

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