The Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) in partnership with the Department of Agrarian Development is planning to implement its annual Minor irrigation improvement project in the Northern and Eastern provinces.
The commencement of the Rs. 500 million worth project mainly aiming to renovate 120 minor irrigation tanks and channels, will be held in Jaffna on the 2nd of April, with the participation of former President of Sri Lanka and Chairperson of the ONUR, Madam Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga.
The main objective of this project is to increase the water storage capacity by solving the shortcomings of the existing irrigation system in the area. This will be an effective solution for proper water storage facilities to manage water. In effect, this facility would utilise water during both the drought and rainy season.
As the first phase of the project, 54 small tanks out of the projected 120 will be renovated in each district.
According to the preliminary estimate, upon the completion of the project, the existing agricultural area will be extended by 10,934 acres while benefiting 5,573 farming families with a median added value of Rs 39,000 per family. This project will increase the paddy harvest by 335,757 bushels and 29,819 Kg fish harvest by introducing a suitable fresh water fish species while increasing the water availability by 8,872 Ac. Ft. This project is estimated to benefit the other field crops (OFC) land by increasing the potential by 1397 Acres.
The management of fresh water as a community value is estimated to bring relief to all residents in the area. Upon completion of this project, the public engaging in agrarian activities, as well as those engaging in the aquaculture industry in the area, are targeted to become common beneficiaries.
This is yet another project funded by ONUR while aiming to consolidate the natural resource available towards improving the livelihood of the inhabitants in the former conflict zone.