A loan agreement was signed between the Government of Sri Lanka and AFD for a EUR 75 million (around Rs. 15 billion) project in Ratmalana and Moratuwa on Monday 18th February 2019.The financing agreement was signed by Secretary to the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media Dr. R. H. S. Samaratunga and AFD Country Director Martin Parent, in the presence of Ambassador of France for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Mr. Eric Lavertu, at the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media.

The Ratmalana/Moratuwa Wastewater Disposal Project aims at improving access to the sewerage service for 45,000 residents of Ratmalana and Moratuwa. It will include significant extension of the sewerage network and more than 10,000 domestic, commercial and industrial connections. Sewage will be treated by the existing Ratmalana wastewater treatment plant.

In order to enhance the expected positive impacts, the project will include information, education and communication campaigns to promote sanitation and hygiene.The National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) will implement the project over a period of five to six years. NWSDB already prepared the project design with the support of an AFD-financed Engineering Consultant.

 Blue Economy is key for Sri Lanka, being an Island. Blue Economy is a major source of foreign currency, jobs but also food security. It is also a challenge for the environment and the sustainability itself of its strong potential. 70% of the already 2.2 million tourists and 4 million expected by 2020 are focusing on the coastline. Furthermore, today, more than 3 million inhabitants live less than a kilometre away from the coast. In that context, projects like this AFD funded project, which will mitigate negative impacts of human activities (water pollution above all) while enhancing Blue Economy potential are very important for Sri Lanka development.