May 2013, Kalmunai, Sri Lanka: The Construction of the “Udayar Road Diversion Flood Risk Reduction Pilot Project” was completed in Kalmunai town on 27th May 2013. This project was implemented by UN-Habitat through the Disaster Resilient City Development Strategies in Sri Lankan Cities project funded by the Government of Australia. The Kalmunai pilot project was inaugurated on 9th February 2013 with His Worship Mayor of Kalmunai, Dr. M. Siraz Meerasahib laying the foundation stone for the drainage system. Senior Municipal officers, Council members and members of the community also participated at this event.
This drainage construction initiative is vitally important for Kalmunai Municipality as the town is frequently inundated following heavy rains, with the community facing risk of flooding.
The Kalmunai Municipal Council, through its Drainage Master Plan has identified Udayar Road as a priority location requiring flood control in the town as it functions as a primary outfall for flood waters. Through the “Udayar Road Diversion Flood Risk Reduction Pilot Project” pilot initiative, a drainage system of approx. 250m in length together with a culvert has been constructed along Udayar road. The construction was undertaken by the Kalmunai Municipal Council with supervision and monitoring by UN-Habitat during the past 4 months. This drainage system will contribute towards reducing the flood risk of nearly 200 families in Kalmunai town by diverting large volumes of water to the floodplains referred to as “Thona” by the community. The Kalmunai Municipal Engineer, Mr. A.J.A.H Jowsi stated that this drainage system is the best solution for flood control in Kalmunai town.
This pilot project location was identified by the Kalmunai Technical Working Group (TWG) formed under the Disaster Resilient City Development Strategies for Sri Lankan Cities project. This project is being implemented by UN-Habitat in collaboration with the Kalmunai Municipal Council, Urban Development Authority (UDA) and the University of Moratuwa. The primary goal of the project is to establish sustainable disaster resilient and healthy cities and townships in disaster prone regions of Sri Lanka.