July 1, 2016
On June 30, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a grant agreement (G/A) with the Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka to provide grant aid of up to 1.83 billion yen for assistance for the Project for the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement.
This project will deploy two patrol boats to the south and west coast areas of Sri Lanka for use by the Sri Lanka Coast Guard (SLCG) to strengthen the law enforcement capacity for marine rescues and for preventing and controlling marine crimes, and for strengthening the marine safety capacity and marine environmental conservation capacity to handle oil spills from ships and other such incidents.
As an island country located in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is seeing its role grow in importance as a base for the vital sea lanes that connect the Middle East through the Strait of Malacca. Due to this heightened role, there is a need to improve the country’s capacity to perform rescue operations when there is a marine accident or natural disaster. Because of the strategic importance of the location of Sri Lanka for maritime affairs and trade, the Government of Sri Lanka is emphasizing the importance of its marine safety capacity. However, the SLCG currently possesses limited resources in terms of patrol boats capable of navigation to the open sea, and they are deployed to the north coast area leaving the marine patrol capacity insufficient in the south and west regions. Boosting the marine safety capacity of the country is therefore a priority.
This project will expand the area of active coastal patrol to the south and west regions, an increase in 2.5 times (approximately 750 nautical miles) the current range, and provide additional oil-water recovery capacity (approximately 15 cubic meters per hour per boat). These measures are expected to contribute to an improved capacity to provide prompt and appropriate marine rescues, prevent smuggling and other marine crimes, and respond to oil spills from ships and other such incidents. In addition to this project, JICA is providing technical guidance through expert dispatch for marine environmental protection, including oil removal, to continue supporting the improvement in marine safety capacity in Sri Lanka.