U.S. Trade and Development Agency
1000 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1600 * Arlington, Virginia 22209
Telephone (703) 875-4357 * Fax (703) 875-4009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MEDIA INQUIRIES:
USTDA GRANT SUPPORTS WATER SUPPLY AND SANITATION
CAPACITY BUILDING IN TSUNAMI-AFFECTED AREAS OF SRI LANKA
U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Jeffrey Lunstead (left) and Dr. P.B. Jayasundera (right) sign a USTDA grant agreement designed to increase the supply of safe drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities to people affected by the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
COLOMBO, SRI LANKA – (June 22, 2006) The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) awarded a grant today to increase the supply of safe drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities to people affected by the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. USTDA provided the $561,000 grant to the Ministry of Finance and Planning of Sri Lanka to support training programs and capacity building for the Ministry of Urban Development and Water
Supply (MUDWS). The grant directly supports MUDWS’ Community Water Supply and Sanitation Project II (CWSSP II).
The USTDA grant was conferred in a signing ceremony at the Finance Ministry. U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Jeffrey Lunstead and Dr. P. B. Jayasundera, Secretary to the Treasury, signed the grant on behalf of the U.S. and Sri Lankan governments, respectively.
The demand for safe drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities has dramatically increased in remote and rural areas of Sri Lanka as a result of the population movements stemming from the tsunami. CWSSP II seeks to improve the social and economic conditions of rural Sri Lanka communities by improving health conditions, with a particular focus on water, sanitation, and hygiene. The target area for this technical assistance includes the Hambantota and Matara Districts, which represent an area in the coastal belt that was severely impacted by the tsunami disaster.
The USTDA-funded technical assistance will involve training to the general public and local water supply and wastewater treatment technicians, and will strengthen the capacity of community-based organizations. Specifically, the technical assistance will include training on a variety of topics, including personal hygiene and health, water treatment technologies, water quality measurement techniques and technologies, water treatment system operation and maintenance, and records collection and management. The technical assistance will also include the development of a water cost recovery scheme and a strategic plan for a variety of related employment opportunities for individuals affected by the tsunami.
The opportunity to provide the technical assistance to MUDWS’s Rural Water Supply & Sanitation Division (RWSSD) will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities website (www.fedbizopps.gov). Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions contained in the Federal Business Opportunities announcement. RWSSD will select the U.S. contractor that will conduct the study.
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, feasibility studies, training, orientation visits and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment. USTDA’s strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.