The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing €50m loan to expand sewage and water supply in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo.

The loan, which is part of a project co-financed with the Asian Development Bank, will be used to build a water treatment plant in Wellawatte before water is released to the sea.

It will help Colombo Municipal Council achieve its target of offering full sanitation coverage to benefit people living and working in the greater Colombo area.

The existing water supply and sewage network in Colombo was constructed a hundred years ago and is not adequate for the city’s rewuirements.

After completion, the upgraded water network will allow clean water to be supplied 24 hours a day, compared to the existing heavily restricted service.

The new water investment program will include provision of a new sewage network in currently un-served areas of Kirillopone.

EIB vice president Andrew McDowell said: “Increased access to sanitation to be achieved by this project will improve the lives of thousands of people living in Colombo and contribute to achievement of sustainable development goals in Sri Lanka.

“The European Investment Bank is pleased to be working closely with partners in Sri Lanka to ensure an environmentally sustainable future for the country’s capital and is grateful for the excellent cooperation with the Asian Development Bank in our first joint support in the country.

Sri Lanka Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake said: “New support from the European Investment Bank will help unlock essential new investment to improve sanitation in Colombo.”

The new loan is claimed to be the EIB's first ever support for water investment in Sri Lanka and the first loan for public sector investment agreed with the new post civil-war government.

EIB has supported investment in Sri Lanka since 2002 including the support for climate related investment, private companies and post-tsunami recovery.

Image: Left to right (EIB vice president Andrew McDowell and Sri Lanka Minister of Finance, Ravi Karunanayake, MP.) Photo: Courtesy of European Investment Bank.