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A Technical Assistance (TA) agreement was signed last February 28, 2019 to carry out a project preparation study towards improving the resilience and livability of the city of Matara and the Greater Matara Area in Sri Lanka.
Hon. D.G. Yasaratne, Mayor of Matara signed the agreement along with Mr. Nihal Rupasinghe, Secretary of the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development; Mr. Senaka Palliyaguruge, Municipal Commissioner of Matara Municipal Council; and Mr. Neil Chadder, CDIA Program Manager representing Lara Arjan, Urban Development Specialist of Asian Development Bank. The signing was carried out in the presence of the French Agency for Development (AFD), represented by Mr. Martin Parent, Country Director for Sri Lanka.
The Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development is planning to develop Matara as a strategic city located in the Southern Economic Corridor and the vision is “to develop Matara as a commercial service centre” to achieve the desired level of economic growth while reducing regional disparities. MMWD is the Technical Partner for the project preparation study, who expressed appreciation for the great opportunity to join hands with other TA partners expecting the ultimate benefit to the country.
The agreement specifies the conduct of a study to identify and prepare climate-compatible, low-carbon and resilient urban infrastructure investments. It will focus on: 1) improvement of solid waste management; 2) upgrading of the city’s flood protection measures by adopting nature-based solutions where possible; 3) improvement of the storm water drainage infrastructure; and 4) urban regeneration and the improvement of city livability. These sectors will then be prioritized for future investments by AFD and the Government of Sri Lanka.
A EUR 520,000 grant will be provided for the study by the AFD-European Union funded window of CDIA. Matara is the first among 12 cities to be assisted by CDIA to develop infrastructure projects with climate co-benefits under the AFD-CDIA partnership.
In close collaboration with partners, CDIA will provide the overall management of the study, including supervision of international and local consultants who will perform it. Matara Municipal Council will provide suitable counterpart contributions while the Ministry as a technical partner will lead the implementation of the study from the side of the Sri Lankan Government, in close collaboration with the Municipal Council.
At present, Matara faces serious environmental challenges and is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts. Periodic floods linked to storm surge and inadequate storm water drainage cripple the city; while the lack of solid waste management measures continue to pose a risk to the environment and health of the residents.
“We understand the needs of growing cities like Matara, that is why we are keen to work with the local government, the Ministry and other partners to improve its resilience,” said Neil Chadder. “CDIA will bring in the expertise and innovation from other countries and ensure that our interventions are tailor-made to the needs of the city,” he added.