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by Sanuli Weihena Gamage | 03-02-2023 10:45 recommendations 0

The Earth consists of only 3% fresh water. Out of this, 2.5% is inaccessible as it is locked up in glaciers, polar ice caps, atmosphere, soil, and underneath the ground. Therefore, the 0.5% that is available should be evenly used for all domestic, recreational, medical and industrial purposes etc. 


In Sri Lanka, the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) supplies water to 41.3% of the population, while the Community Managed Water Supply Schemes (CMWSS) and Local Authorities provide water to a further 12% of the population. The remaining 38.7% of the population uses self-sufficient methods such as protected dug wells, rainwater harvesting systems, hand pumps or dug wells.

So, to what degree do Sri Lankan communities have access to clean water?

-Most of the people we provide water for get their share once a week only. We use dug wells that are sufficient to provide water to only half of the current residents. People here have to use the little amount of water provided for all their water-related activities for a week before waiting in line for their next share.-

-CBO from Moneragala, Sri Lanka-

There are many challenges - in terms of water - faced by the rural communities of Sri Lanka. Many suffer due to the poor quality of the water they are provided with. Due to this, many water-borne diseases have spread, for example, individuals residing in the Dry Zone have been identified with CKDu (Chronic Kidney Disease).


Another challenge is the low quantity of water available. Since the presence of pipe-borne water is only available for the urban communities, the rest of the population is left to collect water from nearby water sources. Many people find these sources like rivers, streams, lakes, and wells too far away and insufficient to supply water for whole villages. Lastly, for people residing in the hilly areas of the country, because of the low water pressure, their highly elevated homes do not receive water. 


To prevent and mitigate the challenges, we should support these communities by providing funding to improve the quality of water by setting up treatment plants or helping maintain ongoing water schemes. Building wells and setting up new water lines will too prove to be beneficial to help the suffering community that has a lack of water.

Therefore, let us all be part of a community that will strive to support the communities facing difficulties in improving the quality of their water or lack of water.  

SanuliWeihena Gamage

  • Sri Lanka Former E-gen Ambassador Sanuli Weihena Gamage
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Sanuli Weihena Gamage

  • Sanuli Weihena Gamage says :
    Thank you so much for sharing these links - it was quite helpful. The points you have mentioned are quite true and possible to implement. I do believe one of the primary reasons for the lack of use of this method in Sri Lanka is the poor knowledge of the community. Therefore, campaigns seem like a good option to start disseminating information on this.

    Thanks for your concern for the Sri Lankan community. Regrettably, this has been a problem for quite some time. The present crisis has only amplified the situation causing people who received sufficient water before, to struggle more.

    Posted 25-03-2023 14:47

Jivitesh Gupta

  • Jivitesh Gupta says :
    Please read this related article also - https://news.mit.edu/2022/portable-desalination-drinking-water-0428

    Posted 15-02-2023 21:05

Jivitesh Gupta

  • Jivitesh Gupta says :
    A plausible solution to water crisis in Island countries is to make drinking water from seawater. There are several technologies available, and many countries are recycling sea water to mitigate the challenge of low quantity of water available to local residents. You may thus initiate a campaign for the government to take steps in this direction. Reference link - https://spectrum.ieee.org/eight-technologies-for-drinkable-seawater#:~:text=Eight%20Technologies%20for%20Drinkable%20Seawater%201%20Today%20BRUTE,DIFFERENCE%20ENGINE%3A%20OSMOTIC%20POWER%20How%20it%20works%20

    Posted 15-02-2023 20:55

Yashaswi Hegde

  • Yashaswi Hegde says :
    I pray for the Sri Lankan people. Is it because of the crisis that's currently going on, or has it been a problem since a long time?
    Posted 11-02-2023 01:46

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