Access to Basic Urban Services in Municipalities in Sri Lanka

Partners: Governments: Government of the Netherlands and Sri Lanka
Institutions: International Water and Sanitation Centre (IRC), the Netherlands International Organizations: UNDP, UN-Habitat

Cost: US$200,000

The UN-Habitat Sustainable Cities Programme (Phase I), with the support of UNDP, was introduced to Sri Lanka under the “National Programme for Sustainable Human Settlements in Sri Lanka”, which was a follow-up to the government’s commitments at the second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) held in Istanbul in 1996. The programme was introduced in 1997 to three Municipal Councils of the Colombo Core Area (CCA) covering an area of about and a total population of nearly 1.2 million. This area is the nerve centre of the country’s economic activities. The municipal areas are faced with the challenge of how best to respond to priority service issues such as solid waste management, water supply, environmental health, flooding and unauthorized construction. The project will develop a sector-specific demonstration project in one municipality in Sri Lanka. It will focus on the involvement and ownership of the community in organizing, delivering and maintaining basic urban services related to water and sanitation. The project will serve as a basis for preparing a municipal strategy on basic urban services and will be replicated in other cities in Sri Lanka.

The main activities include selection of the municipalities, profiling, consultation, preparation of the project document for the demonstration project, implementation of the demonstration project, preparation of municipal basic urban services strategy and bankable scaling-up project.

  • Basic urban services profiles: preparation is ongoing in Katte and Utattala municipal councils on waste separation, biogas production and wastewater disposal.
  • A project document has been formulated. Implementation, follow-up and monitoring of the demonstration project have begun.
  • Municipal intersectoral structure to co-ordinate basic urban services is being put in place, including consultations with stakeholders.
  • Information and promotion materials have been developed and disseminated.