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Participatory irrigation dam improvement for efficient agricultureroject. Calling the Kings


Sri Lanka


Uva Province, South-West Sri Lanka


  • Water
  • Water technology
  • Agriculture

Project budget

€ 1,467.604 (FDW contribution = € 580,000)


  • Waterschap De Dommel
  • AKVO Foundation
  • Waterschap Aa en Maas
  • Stichting Waterhelp
  • Arthavida Foundation
  • Arthacharya Foundation
  • Rabobank Foundation

Project description

Catchment of rainwater is important for the island of Sri Lanka to secure access to sweet water, especially in the dry South West. This is a very poor region of Sri Lanka were access to water can drastically increase living conditions. The local partner in this project, Arthacharya, is already active in poverty relief and micro finance in this area but is limited in its success through lack of access to reliable water sources. Rehabilitation of existing, sometimes age-old, dams can secure water availability and has a very short pay back period through higher income due to better and more crops. Nevertheless financing these dams has proven to be problematic. This project envisages a bottom-up approach were farmers organisations are stimulated to take control of their own situation by giving them access to new financial and organisational tools to realise dam rehabilitation projects. The new financial tools will be developed in a public-private partnership between Rabobank Foundation, the Dutch water boards, Artacharya, Arthavida, AKVO and Waterhelp. The public-private partnership should also help to increase political acceptance of such a new model. The project approach is to slowly shift from grants to credit during the project. The project should ultimately provide a new financial and organisational tool for farmers’ organisations to take control of water management. Project activities will take place in the Moneragala district of Uva Province, with focus on the Wellawaya division. It is expected that the tool will be scalable to other parts of Sri Lanka as well as other countries. Similar challenges are for instance experienced in Southern India.

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