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The views expressed in this presentation are the views of the author and

do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Asian Development
Bank Institute (ADBI), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), its Board of
Directors, or the governments they represent. ADBI does not guarantee
the accuracy of the data included in this paper and accepts no
responsibility for any consequences of their use. Terminology used may
not necessarily be consistent with ADB official terms.

South Asian Conference on Sanitation
SRILANKA Country Paper

B.A.P Lakshantha
Senior Assistant Secretary
Ministry of City Planning & Water Supply
} Ancient hydraulic civilization. Among the remains
of the palaces and temples, stone carved squatting
pans still in place are evidence that that ancestors
had used urine diversion sanitation systems.

} Sri Lanka has a high average per capita annual
water availability which is at 2400 m3/per person
per year.

Administrative Map of
Sri Lanka

} evidence that Ancestors used ECOSAN
fixtures and their knowledge in sanitation
and focus on environment conservation &
modern day WASH professionals are
marveled by the ancient artifacts.

History of ECOSAN
The Sri Lankan government has declared water and sanitation to be an “inalienable right”
and has set the goal of constructing infrastructure which would offer the entire country
access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities by 2025. As a result of various
concessionary actions taken by the government of Sri Lanka, over ninety percent of people
have access to improved toilets. It is expected to improve it to 100% by 2025.

Improvement of sanitation Over the Decades
Year Improved Shared Unimproved Open Defecation
1990 68 2 14 16
1995 74 3 11 12
2000 80 3 10 7
2005 86 3 9 2
2010 87.5 2 8 1.8
2015 89.2 2 7 1.7
2016 91.2 1.9 5.5 1.4

Source: UNICEF-Updated with SLDH Survey 2016
Sanitation coverage of Sri Lanka consists of both on site facilities such as septic tanks and closed
pit latrines and off site facilities with piped sewerage systems.
Similarly, sanitation coverage using Census data nationally available is updated
with the expansion of sanitation over the past 5 years up to 2017.
Sewerage Coverage as at end of 2017

1 2 3 4 5
Total Water sealed Water Direct Shared No
household and Connected sealed & pit Toilet
to pipe Connected
sewerage to a septic
5,501,172 127077 4896043 264056 302564 88,282
100 % 2.1 86* 4.8 5.5 1.4

Source; 2012 National Census and Updated NWSDB
Establishing base line for sanitation in 2016 based on the 2012 national
census was done with the information available from various stakeholders
including the sewerage development and new toilet constructed by the
* Water sealed and connected to a septic tank is considered as safely
managed in the SDG 6.2 WASH Ladder.
Septic tank with soakage pit is the first choice of over 90% of the domestic population in Sri
Lanka usedfor onsite excreta disposal. Sri Lanka Standards 745 is the current code of
practice established for designing of septic tank systems.

Ongoing sewerage Projects

Similarly, sanitation coverage using Census data nationally available is updated
with the expansion of sanitation over the past 5 years up to 2017.
Population TEC(Rs
No Coverage Mn)
1 Kandy City Wastewater disposal project
floating 22,591
2 Greater Colombo Wastewater Management Project
60,000 1,012
3 GPOBA(The Global Partnership on Output Based Aid
35,000 1,197
4 Greater Kurunagala Water Supply & Sewerage project
25,000 13,248
Expansion of pipe borne sewerage coverage of
Moratuwa&Ekala 45,500 16,073
Sanitation & Hygiene Initiative for Towns(SHIFT)
project (Galle, Negombo, Kelaniya& Peliyagoda)
200,000 17,232
} Related sanitation programs will benefit approximately 43,000 families in the
rural and estates sectors through construction of individual household toilets.
The project will also finance the construction of strategically located septage
treatment facilities in each of the project districts, which will improve
sanitation and environmental conditions for people in the catchment areas of
these facilities.

The objective is to upgrade existing public conveniences (public toilets) at 14 selected
locations in the city that will provide hygienic and convenient sanitation facilities for the
general public including daily commuters, and domestic and foreign tourists.

Under Ground Public Conveniences Locations
Map of Colombo with for Public
School WASH Facilities
Built Recently

Activities of the
School Health Club

Government gave directives to narrow down the schools without proper WASH facilities in
2016 and at present the gap has been reduced to 6% out of over 10,000 schools. WASH
facilities have been improved to raise the standard to accommodate disabled and menstrual
hygiene facilities.
National Sanitation Policy formulated by the Ministry of City Planning & Water Supply has
been approved by the cabinet of Ministers in August 2017.
The Objectives of the national sanitation policy are as follows;
1. Achieve the national targets for sanitation by providing facilities for total sanitation.
2. Promote education on good hygiene practices.
3. Ensure environmental sustainability through proper household sanitation, and industrial
wastewater and septage management.
4. Ensure harmonized implementation of strategies.
5. Provide adequate attention to schoolchildren, women, differently able and less privileged
segments of the population.

The main areas identified for actions are as follows;
1. Raising awareness and commitment among decision makers for improved sanitation and
for mobilizing public support
2. Improving school sanitation services and narrowing the gap of large number of schools
without adequate water and sanitation services
3. Promotion of Total Environmental Sanitation through local government services

Since sanitation is everybody’s business the policy aims at harmonizing
efforts of all stakeholders in achieving sustainable sanitation
Provision of water and sanitation has been one of the highest social service priorities of the
government and current achievements are due mainly to this thrust based on the clear roles
assigned to the main actors and promotion of the commitment of the users. The
institutional framework evolved over the past few decades to meet the challenges and to
achieve the set targets for the sector.

o Ministry of City Planning & Water Supply –Subject ministry WASH, for Sector Policy,
coordination, budget allocation, monitoring and review of progress.
o Ministry of Health - Regulator for water & food quality, hygiene education, sanitation and
public health services. Chairs national health based water quality surveillance committee
and water quality monitoring
o Ministry of Education - Responsible for provision of water and sanitation services to
schools and hygiene education.
o Ministry of Finance - Subject Ministry Budget allocation and Macroeconomic Policy
o Ministry of (Mahaweli Development) & Environment - Manage the environment and
natural resources of the country under the National Environmental Act
o National Water Supply & Drainage Board (NWSDB) - Implementing arm of the government
and responsible for planning and development of infrastructure and operation of
services. NWSDB receives national annual budget allocation to implement planned
projects and programmes.
o Department of National Community Water Supply (DNCWS) - Ensure safe drinking water
supply and basic sanitation facilities for the rural population through sustainable
community managed facilities.
o Plantations’ Human Development Trust (PHDT) –Government agency established for
welfare of the plantation workers. Responsible for channeling funding for water and
sanitation to the plantation sector
o Civil Societies –Play an important role in reaching the marginalized communities where
the government delivery system was not effective.
Location of Major
Proposed in the Next
10 years

Investments on Priority Projects
Capacity Connection
n to be Cost Rs. M
(m3/ day) s
30,0000 12,000, 11,570 6,000
138,000 21,500 45,000 25,000
40500 6,675 5,780 5,500
10,300 1,000 3,751 1,050
14500 1,000 3,979 1250
75,000 10,500 11,081 12,000
Source: NWSDB 308,300 52,675 81,161 51,850
B.A.P Lakshantha
Senior Assistant Secretary
Ministry of City Planning & Water Supply