Sri Lanka opens largest water reservoir built by China

Xinhua Published: 2018-01-09 18:49:36
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Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday opened the sluice gates of the island's largest water reservoir, designed and constructed by PowerChina, in Moragahakanda, in the island's Central Province.

Sri Lanka's largest water reservoir, designed and constructed by PowerChina, is opened in Moragahakanda, Sri Lanka, on January 8, 2018. [Photo: Xinhua]

Sri Lanka's largest water reservoir, designed and constructed by PowerChina, is opened in Moragahakanda, Sri Lanka, on January 8, 2018. [Photo: Xinhua]

The president and prime minister were accompanied by Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya, Sri Lankan government ministers, officials from the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka and foreign dignitaries. 

Sirisena praised the hard work undertaken by PowerChina, a leader in China's hydropower industry, throughout the construction process.

PowerChina's Euro-Asia Vice General- Manager Pan Dengyu told Xinhua that the Moragahakanda Project started construction in July 2012, and it will be used mainly for irrigation, water supply and electricity generation. 

"The project will not only boost the agricultural production in central and northern Sri Lanka, but it will also guarantee domestic water and industrial water, as well as improving the electricity conditions for local residents," Pan said.

The water holding capacity for the Moragahakanda water reservoir is 570 million cubic meters and the reservoir will also create a favorable environment for tourism and will promote inland fishing.

Sri Lanka's largest water reservoir, designed and constructed by PowerChina, is opened in Moragahakanda, Sri Lanka, on January 8, 2018. [Photo: Xinhua]

Sri Lanka's largest water reservoir, designed and constructed by PowerChina, is opened in Moragahakanda, Sri Lanka, on January 8, 2018. [Photo: Xinhua]

The water from this reservoir will irrigate dry land in faraway Vanni in the Northern Province and Rajarata, Wayamba, Central and Eastern Provinces. 

The project will also generate 25 MW in hydropower to the national grid. 

Kumara Perera, 45, a local farmer from Polonnaruwa who attended the opening ceremony, said he was awaiting the opening of the Moragahakanda Project as it would ensure a continuous water supply into his village.

He said his village had been facing a drought for several months and as a result, crops had dried up.

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