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A project preparation study (PPS) is being undertaken in Matara, Sri Lanka to improve the resilience and livability of the city and the Greater Matara Area.
CDIA’s Urban Development Specialist, Fabienne Perucca paid a technical visit in the last week of March 2019, where she met with the consulting team, the focal coordinating bodies – Matara Municipal Council and the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development (MMWD), and other key stakeholders to track the progress of the project in preparation for the inception workshop.
On April 5, 2019, said workshop was conducted with 60 participants from over 20 institutions involved in Matara’s development. These include agencies such as the Urban Development Authority, Irrigation Department, Road Development Authority, and National Water Supply and Drainage Board, among others.
Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) was also active during the workshop; as this PPS was made possible through the CDIA-AFD partnership and funding support from the European Union (EU). AFD is identified as the downstream financier of the investment projects that will be developed through the PPS.
At the inception workshop, CDIA presented the preliminary findings, which included results from the ongoing assessments of: 1) solid waste management in Matara and the Greater Matara Area; 2) flood protection and drainage; and 3) urban regeneration.
Working groups were then organized to discuss each component, with particular focus on how the city can improve these sectors in the long run.
CDIA will support in taking the discussions forward by studying more closely the solid waste management sector, and identifying options for improving its collection, transfer, treatment, disposal, landfill rehabilitation and healthcare waste aspects. As a follow-up, a technical workshop was organized on April 23, 2019 to discuss the progress and prepare for future decisions.
CDIA will likewise look at improving the existing drainage canals and identifying potential solutions towards flood protection. It will also consider the options proposed at the workshop for the city center rehabilitation such as traffic management, heritage conservation, and riverfront and beachfront development.
CDIA will further analyze all sub-sectors of solid waste, flood, and urban regeneration under a climate vulnerability assessment.
“Stakeholder involvement, especially when done from the early stage of the project is an effective way to get critical information necessary for shaping the project design and outcomes. Getting the full support and cooperation of both local and national partners at the inception period is crucial, and we are confident that we will be able to develop investment projects that will truly meet the needs of the residents of Matara,” said Fabienne Perucca.
Stakeholders will gather again in May 2019 for the interim workshop, where they will prioritize the sub-projects and make a decision on what CDIA will take forward at the feasibility level.