Sri Lanka’s private sector offers to strengthen Kelani River bank
At a private sector consultationforum held by the Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management Sri Lanka (A-PAD) together with the participation of the Ministry of Disaster Management and UNDP, Sri Lankan private sector companies based in Colombo had extended their assistance towards reinforcing the Kelani River banks encircling the city to ensure that flooding would not cause damage to their business operations.
Access roads, production facilities, storage warehouses and other business facilities were severely affected by flooding in 2016 and 2017amounting to heavy costs. Also, continuous bouts of flooding have accelerated soil erosion of river banks posing a considerable threat to structures situated along them.
Lion Brewery (Ceylon) PLC, a company that was affected by the 2016 and 2017 floods where its access road was submerged under 2 feet of water is one such private sector business that put forward the proposal of strengthening the river bank to the government.
However, attempts by both this and other companies have proved futile as the government has remained unresponsive to overtures.
The private sector wishes to reinforce the river bank with the aim of ensuring that their business infrastructure remains unaffected during severe weather anomalies and is a means of being prepared to face such contingencies.
The private sector has assured that it plans to bear all costs involved in such an endeavour in addition to providing planning and implementation.
According to estimates provided by fourteen of the countries eighteen insurance organisations to the UNDP, the private sector sustained LKR 30 billion worth of damage due to flooding and drought in 2016.
The UNDP further stated that 2017 damages have amounted to an estimated LKR 5 billion as of date.
The opportunity exists for a successful project proposal to be submitted to the government for the purpose of strengthening the Kelani River bank. Prospective investors have the chance of partnering with Sri Lankan private sector companies to implement the project should the government award it.
|Article Code :||VBS/AT/06092017/Z_8|