JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) dispatched Japanese water experts for CapWaSS (Capacity building project for Water Supply Schemes managed by Pradeshiya Sabhas (PS)) working together with Provincial Councils and Local Government Division of Ministry of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils and Local Government. They are connecting diverse stakeholders across four provinces (Northern, Eastern, North Central, and Uva Provinces) to create and share knowledge through comprehensive and interactive 3-round trainings to 65 Pradeshiya Sabhas as well as platform activities.
Since small-scale water supply schemes are scattered in rural areas, comprehensive dataset was difficult to be made, which hampered the delivery of necessary technical supports to the operators. Although Provincial Council & Local Government Division has relevant infrastructure engineers, water expertise is with Ministry of Water Supply (Ministry of Water Supply and Estate Infrastructure Development) and NWSDB; hence, the knowledge accumulated in the country has not been utilized effectively.
During two years’ tireless work, a comprehensive data was analyzed and preparation of the rehabilitation plan of defective facilities is ongoing, which will be the basis for Provincial Councils’ proper guidance and further supports. Trainings on operation and maintenance, budgeting and financial management, and monitoring of water supply schemes were provided to 595 PS officials, who would get opportunities to take two more intensive trainings. Knowledge sharing workshops were held twice with 74 participants; the latest one was chaired by Chief Secretary of North Central Province in January 2024. Memorandum of Understandings between Local Government Ministry and Water Supply Ministry for strengthening working relationship is under preparation for bridging the gap between two ministries. These CapWaSS activities contribute to establishing the eco-system to sustain rural water supply by PS.
The Project Director of CapWaSS, Mr. Darshana Bandara Samarakoon, DG Planning of Provincial Council & Local Government Division shared his future vision that “CapWaSS intends not only to improve the capacity of PS officers but also to strengthen the system to ensure sustainable water supply to the rural communities. Our ministry has been taking leadership to agree on the MoU with Ministry of Water Supply and seek collaboration with other ongoing projects to maximize the benefit through CapWaSS.”