Piloting Pro Poor Gender Responsive Sanitation Options in Underserved Settlements in Colombo (Nawagampura, Block “F” Settlement)

This project is a pilot project of the ADB funded Greater Colombo Waste Water Management Project (GCWMP) which is implemented by the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC). The pilot project is aimed at improving the sanitation facilities in selected Under Served Settlements (USSs) in the city where the city’s main sewerage lines cannot be extended due to geographical limitations. The Nawagampura USS was selected for this pilot project based on the recommendation of the CMC. The total duration of the project is nine (09) months starting from 11th March to 31st December, 2013. The project was monitored by the Sri Lanka Resident Mission of the ADB.

SEVANATHA Urban Resource Centre has implemented this project with the technical supervision by the Colombo Municipal Council. The Community Development Council (CDC) of Nawagampura was engaged in the project in carrying out construction activities of the sewerage system under that Community Contract method.

The engagement of CDC in implementation of this project is significant as the objective of the project was to implement it as a Community Based Sanitation Improvement Project. According to the Community Contract agreement signed between SEVANATHA and the CDC, it was responsible for providing the skilled and unskilled labour for the construction work of the sewerage system. It was also required the direct engagement of the CDC in handling construction work under the supervision of the CMC Engineers and the Technical Officer of SEVANATHA. Under this agreement the CDC leaders have taken significant responsibilities of handling all the construction work as required and made a great commitment in achieving the construction targets.

The objective of the project was to improve the sanitation facilities of the residents of Blocks F Nawagampura settlement in Colombo. The CDC also has provided assistance to individual families to construct their toilets and to obtain connection to the new sewerage line. The improved sanitary condition has directly benefited 93 families in this settlement who have built their individual toilet and got connection to the new sewerage system.

This project also has brought the following direct benefits to the community.

  • Improvement of inner access roads along with the sewerage system completion.
  • Improvement of the land lot where the septic tank is built as a pleasant community space.
  • Improved privacy for women, young girls and children by using their own individual toilets inside the house.
  • Convenience of using individual toilets by elderly and sick people in the community.
  • Time saving by all the family members due to non utilization of the common toilets.
  • Convenience in using the individual toilets by all the family members.
  • Due to successful completion of the sewerage system, the capacities of the CDC of Nawagampura have improved in terms of handling a relatively large scale construction projects, managing labour and technical issues in construction. The CDC also has gained recognition among the community as a capable and trustworthy CBO.
  • The community has agreed to use the existing common toilet under a new community management system by the families in the settlement when they have their family functions and gatherings.

Community awareness before starting the construction of sewerage system

Project was inaugurated with the participation of Hon. Mayor in Colombo, ADB Representatives, SEVANATHA and the Community

Community meeting after the ceremonial commencement of the project

Site Excavation for the Septic Tank Construction

Laying the sewerage lines

Community members engage in concreting the septic tank walls

Provisions for household connection to the new sewer line

Access road s improvement after laying the new sewerage lines

Students developing the map with identified plant and animal species