Galle District hit by serious drinking water problem

The Galle District has been hit by a serious drinking water problem, Southern Province Governor Dr Willy Gamage said.

He said that only 1/3 of the drinking water requirement of the city of Galle is supplied.

‘The drinking water problem in Galle District is very serious. It supplies only 1/3 of the drinking water requirement of the city of Galle. There is no way to provide new water connections too,” he said.

He was speaking at a public consultation on water issues and solutions in the Southern Province organised by the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), the electricity sector regulator and the designated regulator for water services.

The pipe-borne water coverage of Galle District stands at 41.74%, Matara 51.52% and Hambantota 87.4%. Accordingly, the total pipe-borne water coverage for Southern Province stands at 56.34%, statistics shows.

‘We are working on providing more pipe-borne water connections for the district while carrying out augmentation for current projects,” A C M Nafeel, Additional Secretary (Development) of the Ministry of Water Supply said.

Nimal Indrajith, Deputy Chief Secretary of Southern Province said that more efforts need to be taken to expand the coverage.

“I believe we have enough water resources within the district (Galle) to cater to our needs. But managing those resources efficiently to supply for our needs is an issue,” he said.

Local Government Commissioner of Southern Province, Senaka Palliyaguruge said that there are several reasons to aggravate the drinking water problem in the southern province and an integrated solution must be provided to address it.

‘Lack of sanitation facilities, Disposal of sewerage in water catchment areas due to lack of proper system, Disposal of waste in water catchment areas due to non-availability of a proper system, insufficient financial allocation from local authorities to develop the system, lack of identification of an adequate and socially accountable auditing system to monitor the investment and development are few main reasons to aggravate the drinking water problem in the southern province,’ Palliyaguruge said.

PUCSL has so far received more than 200 stakeholder submissions on the drinking water issues and solutions to the issues. The next drinking water discussions are planned in the central province and eastern province in October 2020. (Colombo Gazette)

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