Published on: August 16, 2023

Uma Oya and Diaraba Reservoir to Benefit Local Communities – State Minister of Irrigation Shashendra Rajapaksa

Shashendra Rajapaksa, the State Minister of Irrigation, announced the recent completion and opening of the Diaraba Reservoir as part of the Uma Oya Multi-Purpose Development Project. This achievement brings an additional 120 megawatts of electricity to the national power grid and facilitates the cultivation of 15,000 acres of paddy fields in the Yala basin.

Highlighting the Ministry of Irrigation’s pivotal role, the State Minister emphasized its significant contributions to President Ranil Wickramasinghe’s initiative for bolstering national food production. This concerted effort underscores the nation’s commitment to ensuring food security within the country.

He expressed these views today (16) during a press conference themed ‘Collective Path to a Stable Country’ held at the Presidential Media Centre (PMC).

State Minister Shashendra Rajapaksa further said;

The Ministry of Irrigation plays a substantial role in supporting the national food production initiative led by President Ranil Wickremesinghe, ensuring the country’s food security. The management of cultivated land and irrigation water follows a systematic approach.

The Ministry of Irrigation functions as a proactive entity, addressing challenges arising from current weather conditions with effective management. Collaborative efforts are in place, working closely with the Ministries of Agriculture, Plantation Industry, Electricity, and Water Supply, alongside the Department of Wildlife and Forest Conservation. This coordinated approach safeguards water sources, prioritizes agriculture while preserving ecosystems, and caters to drinking water, hydropower, industry, and wildlife needs.

This year’s budget allocations have been strategically utilized for key projects, including the multi-phase climate mitigation program, integrated water resources management project (Dhahara), and Wav Gam Pubuduwa projects.

District-level irrigation plans have been recently devised, prompting the commencement of a repair project for approximately 3,000 identified irrigation structures across 25 districts. Dilapidated culverts and tank embankments are being revitalized through this endeavour.

Significantly, the filling of the Diaraba Reservoir within the Uma Oya Project began on the 13th, marking a notable hydroelectric venture.

This project is set to contribute 120 megawatts of power to the national grid and facilitate the cultivation of 15,000 acres of paddy fields in the Yala and Maha seasons. These outcomes will soon bolster the National Food Security Program.

Moreover, discussions are underway to address drinking water challenges in Monaragala and Badulla districts. To enhance water management decision-making, a mechanism empowered by the legal authority is being established, bringing together various institutions such as the Meteorological Department, Irrigation Department, Mahaweli Authority, and Electricity Board.

In essence, the Ministry of Irrigation is dedicated to ensuring the irrigation water needs for agriculture and enhancing the populace’s nutritional well-being, thus solidifying the country’s national food security.


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