World Vision Lanka (WVL) under its Special Projects chapter has embarked on its second phase of the Rural Integrated Water Sanitation and Hygiene-2 (RIWASH 2).The first being successfully implemented in the East of Sri Lanka.
The second phase is thus being implemented in Nuwara Eliya, Ambagamuwa and Walapane. The scope of the Project is to improve drinking water and sanitation conditions of rural villages, estates and schools in and around the area. IUCN in partnership with the University of Peradeniya is assisting to integrate IWRM aspects into the RIWASH 2 project. As a first step, an IWRM capacity building programme for 30 officials from the Central Provincial Council was completed during 7 and 8 June 2012.
The programme was conducted in two sessions. The first session covered generic theoretical aspects of IWRM and watershed management covering basic IWRM principles, watershed characteristics and management, hydrology and water budget, water pollution, biodiversity, soil and water conservation, health and sanitation, etc.
The second part of the capacity building exercise was a practical session in the field on mapping, catchment characterization, identification of issues and possible interventions, rapid floral and faunal biodiversity assessments, etc. The second leg of the capacity building programme is expected to be conducted in about two months when the draft IWRM plans are prepared for pilot watersheds by the trainees – mostly officials from the Central Provincial Council. The entire training was guided by the IWRM booklet designed especially for the capacity building programme.
Discussions are underway for delivering a similar workshop for senior members and decision makers of the Central Provincial Council so they begin to understand the importance of watershed management in the critical upper catchment areas of the province.
Without any improvement in water resource management, several of Sri Lanka’s 103 river basins will face unsustainable water consumption leading to severe water scarcity.
This project is funded by AusAID.