USAID & Red Cross

USAID Partners with Red Cross for Water System Project in East

USAID’s Economic Growth Office Director Dick Edwards (second left and Minister of Water Supply and Drainage A.L.M. Athaullah (right) raise the flags of their respective countries at the groundbreaking of the new USAID water treatment facility project for Pottuvil in partnership with the Red Cross. Photo: USAID/Mike Gould

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Cross Societies, broke ground this week on a $4.7 million water system improvement project as part of its $50 million Sri Lanka Tsunami Reconstruction Program (SLTRP).

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This water supply project, which includes building wells, a raw water line and water treatment plant, will be executed in cooperation with the National Water Supply and Drainage Board. It complements the $10 million reconstruction of the tsunami-damaged Arugam Bay Bridge linking Pottuvil with the resort area of Ulla, a major element of the USAID Sri Lanka Tsunami Reconstruction Program (SLTRP).

“Until now, local residents have depended mainly on rain water and shallow wells, many of which may be contaminated,” said Dick Edwards, USAID’s Economic Growth Office Director at the groundbreaking. “This new treatment facility will help improve the health of as many 30,000 people in the region.”

Other dignitaries speaking at the event included Hon. A.L.M. Athaullah, Minister of Water Supply and Drainage, K.R. Devasurendra, Deputy General Manager of the Water Supply and Drainage Board, and A.M.A. Rafeeq, Water Board Operations and Maintenance Manager

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As partners in the project, The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies will coordinate construction of a 1,000-cubic meter elevated water storage tower together with the main distribution network, which will pipe water to over 1,000 households in the area.

“This project will bring dramatic improvements to the health and welfare of the residents of Pottuvil,” said Al Panico, head of delegation for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Sri Lanka. “For the first time they will have a reliable source of clean drinking water throughout the year.”

The American Red Cross is contributing $1.5 million to the project, while the Irish Red Cross is providing an additional $600,000 and a dedicated staff member to supervise work on the ground. Local families will also benefit from a hygiene promotion program organized by the Sri Lanka Red Cross and its partners.

The project will be constructed by International Construction Consortium Ltd under the auspices of U.S.-based CH2M Hill, the prime contractor for the SLTRP. It is expected to be completed in July 2008.

Courtesy: Embassy of the United States of America- Colombo


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