The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing $300 million assistance to overhaul the quality, coverage, and management of water and wastewater services in Colombo.
According to a press release issued by the ADB, the multi-tranche financing facility approved by the ADB Board of Directors will support a $400 million government investment program to improve water and sanitation in greater Colombo.
ADB's first tranche loan of $84 million will focus on reducing water losses in Colombo, which are estimated to cost more than $13 million a year in revenue.
The program aims to make water available 24 hours a day throughout greater Colombo by 2020, with a focus on improving services in underserved areas. It targets a reduction in non-revenue water losses from nearly 50 percent in 2012 to about 20 percent by 2020, and seeks to ensure 100 percent sewer network coverage by 2020.
Announcing the financial assistance, Mingyuan Fan, Urban Development Specialist in ADB's South Asia Department said that parts of Colombo's water supply distribution network are over 100 years old and some areas only get water for less than half the day, while the sewer network suffers from frequent collapses and blockages.
"Our assistance will help the government make water and sanitation services higher quality, cost-effective, and sustainable," the ADB official said.
The assistance will be used to repair or replace water transmission and distribution pipes and pumps, install high quality meters, and implement network mapping and leakage controls.
It will fund new sewer connections and the construction of two wastewater treatment plants and support measures to strengthen the management and operations of the oversight agencies, the National Water Supply and Drainage Board and Colombo Municipal Council, the ADB said.