High-Level Meeting on the Implementation of the Water-Related Goals and Targets of the 2030 Agenda
18 March 2021
Statement by Hon. Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Minister of Water Supply of the
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Your Excellences and Distinguished participants,
Provision of water and sanitation services is one of the highest social priorities of Sri Lanka. Targets have been well set to achieve national and global goals. Sri Lanka has successfully mainstreamed SDG 6 the water sector and accordingly accelerated water and sanitation policies to reflect that water and sanitation are human rights. Having achieved MDG targets for water and sanitation well in time, we are now in a better position to achieve global goals in WASH even ahead of time.
Sri Lanka Government’s aim is to achieve SDG 6 targets for universal access to safely managed drinking water and sanitation by 2025. Our Government aims to mobilize efforts and resources to increase pipe borne portable water of the households by 2025 significantly.
Water security and safety are two main issues that the Sri Lankan Government is now focusing on for sustainable utilization of available water resources. Commitment to SDG 6 has provided a great opportunity to create a consciousness among key stake holders to protect water from pollution, increase efficiency of water use in all sectors.
Progress in the sector has been slow due to the current pandemic and the consequent inability to mobilize resources. However, the Government with its partners has swiftly moved into an infection prevention and control programme through hand washing at public places.
In response to SDG 6, Sri Lanka has taken several key policy decisions and initiatives to institutionalize global goals in the country’s development drive. Government of Sri Lanka has recognized that ‘Access to safe and drinking water and improved sanitation for all, and the sustainable management of water’ as an inherent right of the human family.
The most prudent way for water security and safety is to reduce pollution, improve water use efficiency, in irrigation and agriculture sectors and institutionalize an Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM). This will contribute in a large measure in facing up to climate change, floods and droughts. Implementing the SDG 6 Target 6.6 namely ‘Restoration of Fresh Water ecosystems’ is also given high priority. Sri Lanka fully appreciates that the availability of water can be directly affected by climate change.
In the Government’s policy statement of “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour” provision of clean water services to the entire population is a core commitment to promote universal access to safe drinking water by 2025. Towards this, we have planned allocations in the national budget over the next 4 years. Commitment of the highest level of the Government has been made for an accelerated program for the provision of water for all and this is in line with the core principles of Sustainable Development Goals ‘leave no one behind.’