U.S. Grants 50 Million to support water supply and sanitation in tsunami hit areas
By Munza Mushtaq - Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune
Colombo, 23 June, (Asiantribune.com): The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) granted U.S. $561,000 to the Ministry of Finance and Planning of Sri Lanka. Agreement regarding the grant was signed yesterday at the Finance Ministry with Ambassador Jeffrey Lunstead and Dr P. B. Jayasundera, Secretary to the Treasury signing on behalf of the U.S. and Sri Lankan governments respectively.
USTDA provided the grant to increase the supply of safe drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities to people affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami.
The demand for safe drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities has dramatically increased in remote and rural areas of Sri Lanka as a result of the population movements stemming from the tsunami.
The grant directly supports training programs and capacity building for the Ministry of Urban Development and Water Supply's (MUDWS') Community Water Supply and Sanitation Project II (CWSSP II) which seeks to improve the social and economic conditions of rural Sri Lanka communities by improving health conditions, with a particular focus on water, sanitation, and hygiene.
The target area for this technical assistance includes the Hambantota and Matara Districts, which represent an area in the coastal belt that was severely impacted by the tsunami disaster.
The USTDA-funded technical assistance will include a strategic plan for a variety of employment opportunities for individuals affected by the tsunami and the development of a water cost recovery scheme. The technical assistance also involves training to the general public and local water supply and wastewater treatment technicians, and will strengthen the capacity of community-based organizations.
Specifically, the technical assistance will include training on a variety of topics, including personal hygiene and health, water treatment technologies, water quality measurement techniques and technologies, water treatment system operation and maintenance, and records collection and management.
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency funds various forms of technical assistance, feasibility studies, training, orientation visits and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment. USTDA's strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development.
- Asian Tribune -