Speech Script for Inauguration Ceremony for Anuradhapura North Water Supply Project-Phase I


(February 15, 10:00-12:00)

Venerable Sirs, His Excellency President Ranil Wickremasinghe,
Honorable Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena,
Honorable Minister of Water Supply and Estate Infrastructure Development Jeevan Thondaman,
Honorable State Minister Shehan Samasinghe,
Honorable Governor of North Central Province Maheepala Herath,
His Excellency Hideaki Mizukoshi, Ambassador of Japan in Sri Lanka, Hon. Members of Parliament, Secretaries and other government officials, Chairman and other officials of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board,
Distinguished guests,

It is a great honor to mark the opening of the Anuradhapura North Water Supply Project-Phase I, implemented by the Ministry of Water Supply and Estate Infrastructure Development through the National Water Supply & Drainage Board. This project is funded by a JICA ODA loan amounting to 5.2 billion Japanese Yen, or about 11.2 billion Sri Lankan Rupees.

It is also a real pleasure to visit this beautiful ancient city of Anuradhapura, a renowned world heritage site as it sits on the remains of the oldest and longest-lasting kingdom in Sri Lankan history.

I have learned that Anuradhapura is known within Sri Lanka as an historically important center for the development of hydraulic and hydrological technologies. The creation of a vast irrigation network made the surrounding area one of the greatest in the country for agricultural production.

Today, we gather to celebrate the completion of this project that will transform the lives of residents of Rambewa and Medawachchiya and pave the way for a healthy future in this famed part of Sri Lanka.

Water, as we all know, is the essence of life. It sustains and nourishes us. Clean and accessible water is not just a basic necessity; it is a catalyst for progress, health and prosperity. Yet, for far too long, residents of these areas have faced challenges with accessing clean and reliable water. Regrettably, they have endured the threat of contracting water borne diseases due to the use of unsafe groundwater. This project will provide access to sufficient quantities of safe water from the Mahakanadarawa Tank to 25,000 families, which signifies a tangible improvement in their quality of life.

This water supply project is the result of the tireless efforts, collaboration, and unwavering commitment of numerous individuals. It was implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic and an economic crisis, perhaps one of the toughest periods in recent Sri Lankan history. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all those who have contributed their time and expertise to make this project a success, despite such immense challenges. Your dedication and hard work have brought us to this momentous occasion.

Let us also applaud the vision and dedication of the Ministry of Water Supply and Estate Infrastructure Development, the National Water Supply and Drainage Board and the Government of Sri Lanka. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to each and every one of these capable counterparts.

With the threat of global climate change, water is becoming an increasingly precious resource that must be carefully preserved. In this context, I commend the Sri Lankan Government for introducing the National Water Resources Policy in response to climate change and its detrimental impact on water resources. I hope that with this new policy, precious water resources around here will be used for drinking, irrigation, energy and other purposes in a harmonious and sustainable manner. Let us conserve water and protect our water sources, as well as the equipment and facilities built through this project. Let us also promote sustainable water use practices to ensure water will be available for generations to come.

In closing, I once again extend my sincere appreciation to the government of Sri Lanka for inviting me to this grand inauguration and allowing me to share this history-making moment with the community members to whom we dedicate this Project. Thank you.


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