Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Friday will ceremoniously inaugurate a major irrigation project at an estimated cost of Rs. 16 billion to provide irrigational and potable water to the farming communities in the dry lands of northern provinces uplifting the livelihoods of the people and boosting the economy from agriculture.
The inauguration ceremony of renovating 2,400 rural tanks connected with “Ellanga Gammana” or Cascaded Tank-Village system in the dry zone and the commencement of the Second Stage of the Wayamba Ela, will be held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at 10.00 a.m. in the premises of the Kubukulawa Tank, Polpithigama, the President’s Media Division said.
The “ellanga gammana” or Cascaded Tank-Village system in the Dry Zone, was designated as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
The Cascaded Tank-Village System is a connected series of tanks organized within a micro-catchment of the dry zone landscape, storing, conveying and utilizing water from an ephemeral rivulet. It is an ancient, widely used and unique traditional agriculture system. The system provides water for irrigation, domestic purposes, animals and ecosystems.
This project has been implemented under the guidance of President Maithripala Sirisena with the aim of nourishing the field of agriculture utilizing this agrarian system. Under this program around 300 tanks will be renovated in the Kurunegala District.
Meanwhile, President Maithripala Sirisena will inaugurate Stage II of the Wayamba Ela Project. Under this scheme, waters from the Mahaweli River will be diverted from the Eastern Province to the Northern Province.
The project is expected to provide permanent solutions to the issues of insufficient irrigational water to cultivate both Yala- Maha seasons for the farmer community in the North Western province and prevalence of kidney diseases among people of the area due to lack of clean drinking water.After the completion of the project 105,000 feet acres of water from the Mahaweli River could be provided to Pollpithigama, Ahatuwewa, Galgamuwa, Mahawa, and Ambanpola areas of the Kurunegala district.
The project, at an estimated cost Rs. 16 billion, is to be completed in 2024. Developing 12,500 hectares of lands and providing irrigational water for 13,500 farmer families will be completed under the project which will provide benefits to 40,000 families.Through the Wayambe Ela project the irrigational water will be securely provided to the Galewela, Wamedilla, and Dewahuwa reservoirs of the Matale district of the Central Province. Another 315 small reservoirs and 88 main reservoirs in Mee Oya, Hakwatuna Oya, and Kala Oya Drones of North Western Province will also be sustained by the water of the Mahaweli River.
The 92-km main canal will take the water of the Mahaweli River diverted from Lenadora Dambulu Oya to the left bank of the Wamedilla Canal and then to the Maha Kithula and Maha Kiri Ula reservoirs.Then the water will be channeled through two main canals – the 21-km canal from Maha Kiri Ula reservoir to Kaduru Wewa in Ahatu Wewa area and the 20- km canal from Maha Kithula reservoir to Madiyawa Maha Wewa.
In addition, water will be provided to 1000 hectares of dry farm lands in Yapahuwa area from the 10- km canal from Madiyawa to Yapahuwa.Once this irrigation scheme has been completed, it will be possible for the farmers to cultivate in both Yala and Maha seasons in those areas uplifting the livelihoods of the farmer community in the area.