Bank Group Contribution
The Government of Sri Lanka has launched an ambitious program of economic and physical regeneration for Metropolitan Colombo to transform it into a modern, world-class capital. To reflect this post-conflict development strategy and the priorities of the government, the World Bask has focused on urban engagement. The project is the first World Bank-supported urban development in Colombo with $213 million in support and the government contributing $100 million. The Bank has also mobilized a grant with the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) to conduct further studies on flood mitigation and Colombo’s urban wetlands. Technical financing has informed robust decision making such as in providing the rationale to conserve the city’s wetlands.
The project is being implemented by the Project Management Unit within the recently created Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development. It reports to a steering committee composed of partners across a number of key agencies: the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation[KD1] , the Urban Development Authority, the Ministry of Local Government and Provincial Councils, the National Water Supply and Drainage Board, the Ministry of Irrigation, Colombo Municipal Council, and other Local Authorities. MCUDP is being implemented in close consultation and collaboration with a number of other projects that have been initiated through various government agencies and the Colombo Municipal Council as part of the government’s urban development activities.
Four years into implementation, the project has already delivered considerable results. It has supported an analysis of the economic value of wetlands and increased awareness of the importance of wetlands conservation – with complete wetland loss, the Colombo Metropolitan Region would lose 1% of its GDP on average every year due to flood damage. A 1 in 100 year flood would raise water levels 1.8 meters above current levels. The project has trained the SLLRDC on research and analysis, which has greatly improved their capacity. In addition, the project supports an asset maintenance strategy, to help the local authorities better maintain and operate infrastructure supported by the project. Through the implementation of the drainage components and major flood reduction infrastructure, the staff of the participating agencies will develop skills and capacities to complement the Colombo Metropolitan Region’s development requirements and ensure a sustained commitment into the future.