Water lies at the very heart of most developmental processes and Sri Lanka, despite possessing rich water resources, is still confronting important threats. This brief introductory study was deemed necessary for the European Union to start understanding the complex yet crucial institutional setting in which water is governed in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has performed well with regard to the millennium development goals. However, as climate change-induced events become more recurrent and as new challenges emerge, such as the chronic kidney disease of unknown aetiology, adversely affecting thousands of people, there is a need to go beyond achievements so far. We hope that this study will help anyone interested in engaging in Sri Lanka’s water sector.
The European Union Delegation to Sri Lanka and the Maldives is very pleased of having collaborated with the IWMI, headquartered in Sri Lanka. The IWMI’s mandate includes providing research for the operationalisation of development actions. We believe that such collaborations are particularly synergic and that the IWMI can add enormous value to donors’ work. Deepening on the analysis of the water sector is a fundamental contribution that requires being sustained over time.
In parallel to this study, the EU is also supporting the capacity building of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board of Sri Lanka with a grant of close to EUR 6 million implemented via the Agence Française de Développement. The EU has funded the construction of various drainage schemes, such as in Mannar and in Vavuniya, with the United Nations Office for Project Services and numerous water, sanitation and hygiene schemes implemented by Unicef and several international and local non-governmental organisations. The EU will remain attentive to ways in which it may be able to help improve the management of water resources in the future in Sri Lanka.