The World Bank, acting as administrator for the Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (GPOBA), has approved a grant of US$5.08 million to increase access to domestic sanitation for low-income households.
The grant will subsidize the cost of improved access to sanitation services for households located in areas around Colombo, where the National Water Supply & Drainage Board (NWSDB) manages sanitation services. An estimated 13,100 households or 65,500 people are expected to benefit from new connections to networked sewerage; and another 2,300 households or 11,500 people from improvements to existing on-site sanitation systems.
The GPOBA-funded project will pilot the first Output-Based Aid (OBA) approach in Sri Lanka and enable several important innovations, including focus on low-income households by using discounted access fees, make demand from households the determining factor for service expansion, use time-bound subsidies to rapidly increase access to networked sewerage services and to improve the operation of existing on-site systems in project-selected areas.
The main innovation of the OBA approach is to link the payment of pre-agreed unit subsidies to the actual delivery of “outputs” -- in this case access to improved sanitation services.ﾠ OBA is also pro-poor and uses targeting, typically by income or geography, to ensure that subsidy payments help those who need it most. In this case, the targeting is geographic and a number of low-income areas have been identified in Ja-Ela/Ekala, Ratmalana, Moratuwa, Kolonnawa, and Dehiwela/Mount Lavinia.
“This innovative output-based scheme will help the effort to respond to high household demand for sanitation services in Greater Colombo,” said Diarietou Gaye, World Bank Country Director for Sri Lanka.ﾠ “Improving access to sanitation services for low-income households also supports the Government of Sri Lanka’s work to meet its Millennium Development Goals on water and sanitation.”
Although Sri Lanka has achieved lower middle income status, there is still a need to increase access to improved sanitation services for some.