Asia

  • Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is an island state in the Indian Ocean spanning 65,600 sq km. Its population of 21.5 million is largely rural and 25% are under 15 years of age. One in ten Ski Lankans live below the poverty line of US$1.25 per day.

Water is a key fact of life for Sri Lankans with 1,300 km of coast line, over 100 rivers and hydropower as a significant source of energy. Sri Lanka’s tropical climate is highly prone to monsoons and occasional cyclones and tornadoes. Sri Lanka was also heavily affected by the 2004 tsunami that saw the loss of approximately 35,000 lives and the displacement of over half a million people.

90% of the Sri Lankan population have access to clean drinking water. The remaining 10% (2.2 million people) do not. Even though clean drinking water provision is wide-spread, in 2010 only 37% of population had access to pipe-borne water, with the Sri Lankan government target to reach 60% by 2020. In the meantime, 80% of the island’s water use goes on agricultural irrigation.

This is further compounded by pollution of freshwater resources by industrial waste water as well the degradation of coastal areas through mining. Deforestation and the subsequent soil erosion further exacerbate the environmental issues. In addition, waste disposal systems, particularly in urban areas, continue to be inadequate with disproportionately high impact on the poor. Therefore there is a major risk of contracting infectious waterborne or water contact diseases such as bacterial diarrhoea, hepatitis A and, to a lesser extent, leptospirosis.

  • Just a Drop has been active in Sri Lanka since 2007 and has supported two projects there to date.