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Achieving sustainable sanitation: lessons from tsunami reconstruction in Sri Lanka

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conference contribution
posted on 2018-02-12, 15:08 authored by Achala Navaratne
The Asian tsunami, which struck Sri Lanka in December 2004, caused havoc in the country and brought about a massive humanitarian crisis. The loss of lives and assets was extensive. The country’s economy was stretched. The ensuing period saw an unprecedented flow of aid while the required rebuilding also provided an opportunity for Sri Lanka to improve the coastal infrastructure, correct past mistakes and build better. However, many housing projects, which have been handed over, lack safe water and sanitation. Sanitation that is not sustainable leads to many public health hazards. This paper is an effort to identify such failures and underlying causes in order that we learn from our mistakes. It is essential for Sri Lanka to ensure that its water and sanitation services are sustainable, thus leading to a healthy populace and in turn a healthy economy.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

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WEDC Conference


NAVARATNE, A., 2006. Achieving sustainable sanitation: lessons from tsunami reconstruction in Sri Lanka. IN: Fisher, J. (ed). Sustainable development of water resources, water supply and environmental sanitation: Proceedings of the 32nd WEDC International Conference, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 13-17 November 2006, pp. 510-513.


© WEDC, Loughborough University


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