China to build Yan Oya reservoir in Eastern Sri Lanka to boost irrigation capabilities

Nov 04, Colombo: A Chinese company has agreed to undertake a major reservoir irrigation development project that would be capable of solving in irrigational water problems in Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province, Xinhua news agency reported.

China CAMC Engineering Corporation Thursday has signed a contract with Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources Management in Colombo to build the Yan Oya water reservoir, one of the new water resources development projects undertaken in Sri Lanka to boost the irrigational capability.

The project would be a scheme similar to Moragahakanda project, capable of solving water problems for areas including Kebithigollewa, Padaviya, Welioya, and Medawachchiya.

According to the Ministry, the project, estimated to cost US$ 176 million, will boost agricultural production and inland fishery development benefitting the local economy and creating more employment opportunities for the local youth.

The CAMC Chairperson Luo Yan has said the company will strive for the early completion of Yan Oya reservoir project and create benefits for the local people. The project is expected to be completed in four years.

The Ministry expects to directly employ a skilled and unskilled labor force of 5,200 while another 2,000 will find employment opportunities in support service during the construction period.

The project includes two main irrigational channels along the banks of Yan Oya and an anicut dam to release surplus water to the nearly 20 kilometers long channels. Once completed the anicut scheme would be able to feed more than 50 medium and micro scale tanks feeding 6,000 acres. Additionally, the project is expected to provide potable water for the people in the northeast.

According to the officials the project will be a precursor to alleviate poverty of at least 12,000 families in the area affected by the decades-long armed conflict between the government troops and the Tamil Tiger terrorists.

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