Community Empowerment through water and sanitation, Sri Lanka


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Project ID

Project Title

Community Empowerment through water and sanitation, Sri Lanka


Water Supply and Sanitation

Focus Areas

Geographic Scope

Lead Organization(s)

Project Partners



Total: $450,000;

Sources of Financing: Coca Cola/ UNited Nations Foundation (UNF)





Project website(s)





To support the longer-term tsunami recovery effort in Asia, The Coca-Cola Company and the United Nations Foundation forged in 2005 a collaborative partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in support of community-based water and sanitation reconstruction efforts in tsunami-affected areas of Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. In Sri Lanka, this public-private sector partnership project is providing essential water infrastructure and sanitation services to two separate tsunami-hit areas of the country: Kattankudi in the east and Kalupe in the south.


Located in Batticaloa district in eastern Sri Lanka, Kattankudi is one of the most densely populated townships in Asia. Sitting on a thin strip of land between the ocean and a large lagoon, the closely-spaced houses lack safe drinking water and basic sanitation facilities. Much of the water is saline, there is no wastewater system and, due to an extremely high water table, the sewage often backs up into the houses. The lack of infrastructure for water, sanitation and waste management results in poor health and environmental degradation. Pollution in the lagoon is also severely affecting fisheries-related livelihoods.

The project is supporting the most vulnerable members of the Kattankudi community through access to improved water and sanitation services. The project involves the provision of long-term WSS to tsunami-affected villages, and the promotion of hygiene and sanitation awareness through community training sessions.The main component is the provision of a sustainable sanitation and wastewater management system including septic tanks, soakage pits, bio-cells and a chlorine tank. Bio-cell technology has not been used in the east of Sri Lanka and may prove to be a replicable, low-cost, community-based solution to the sanitation and sewage disposal needs of densely-populated cities in the rest of Sri Lanka. As an initial pilot, this system is being implemented through local community-based organisations and provided to 19 of the most vulnerable households as part of a larger project targeting 7,000 people within the township. As well as this integrated sanitation and wastewater management system, rooftop rainwater harvesting units will be provided to each of the pilot households.


The village of Kalupe, Hikkaduwa is located in the district of Galle, an area in the south of Sri Lanka that was badly hit by the tsunami. Through this project, a 2-km pipeline is being built to connect the village of Kalupe to the Greater Galle Water Project to deliver safe drinking water to tsunami-affected people in and around the village. Beyond this permanent pipeline infrastructure, the community is being engaged through training and awareness-raising to monitor the implementation and jointly ‘own’ the process - part of UNDP’s “Aid Watch” strategy to ensure transparency and accountability in post-crisis recovery. Community members in Kalupe will communicate and work directly with representatives from UNDP, the UN agency implementing this project under the overall technical guidance of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board.

In addition to this “Aid Watch” component, both projects also include a focus on community training and awareness-raising on water, sanitation and hygiene practices, led by expert health and hygiene promoters.

Expected Outcomes

Achievements: Results and Impact

Lessons for Replication



See also

  1. Water supply scheme for community in Sri Pada Area
  2. Water supply for the Boralugoda village community, Sri Lanka
  3. Uplifting the livelihood of Moragammana Village community through rain water harvesting
  4. Uplift the livelihood condition of Eppawala Grama Niladhari Division Community by providing safe drinking water by Community Development Centre, Aranayaka.
  5. Sustainable development of rural economy through mitigation of water scarcity in dry zone, Sri Lanka
  6. Rehabilitation of Delgaslanda Water Project to provide Water for the Community and restoration of other Small Water Sources in the Area by Sri Dheerananda Savings and Credit Society Organization
  7. Public Vs Private in Water Provision:Encouraging Case of Sri Lanka
  8. Provision of water through construction of small scale reservoir and a canal system in Siriyagama, Sri Lanka
  9. Marginalising the Poorest: Case of Badowita, Sri Lanka
  10. Conservation of water in home gardens through renovation small scale of ponds, Sri Lanka
  11. Community watershed management and rainwater harvesting using ancient irrigation technologies and Community managed protected area conservation in Sigiriya World Heritage site
  12. Bioremediation of selected drinking water wells in Nawakkaduwa

External Resources


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