A training program was conducted from the 14th to 16th of March 2019 at the Rain centre in Pelawatta on rainwater harvesting and groundwater recharge under the USAID funded project “Safe Disaster – Resilient Drinking water to floods and Drought Prone Areas of Sri Lanka”. The aims of the training program were to strengthen the capabilities of the implementing organisations including government agencies, academics, engineers, architects, NGO’s on designing, planning and implementation of RWH system as a Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR tool) . Fifty-five participants from NGO’s, Government Organisations, Universities, the Industrial and Agricultural Sector successfully completed the training.
During the inauguration ceremony, Mr. Reed J. Aeschliman ,Mission Director of USAID Sri Lanka & Maldives stated that “USAID had supported Lanka Rainwater Harvesting Forum and PALM Foundation for several years to provide safe drinking water for vulnerable populations, helping them to withstand and recover quickly from natural disasters. This is an example of our untiring efforts and commitment to ensure that the world’s water supply is able to meet the needs of future generations”. Ms. Priyanka Director, Development of the Ministry of City Planning and Water Supply added that “There are number of new pipe water connections planned in the coming years but it is also important to harvest rain water where ever possible because there are many places that NWSDB cannot provide water, such as hilly areas and areas where there is no sufficient water source to obtain and pump”.
Mr Han Heijinen , Eng.Deva Hapugoda, Dr. Tanuja Ariyananda, Prof. Sisuru Senanayake, Prof. C. S. de Silva,and Mr. M. M. M. Aheeyar, covered basic concepts as well as technical and social aspects of rainwater harvesting and groundwater recharge, citing case studies and sustainable urban development goals for the cities of tomorrow. Coupled with a field visit to the MIT campus, Malabe, and practical assignments, the participants were encouraged to voice their opinions and ask questions with regards to the topics discussed. At the conclusion of the training, certificates were awarded to participants.