Irrigating Inginiyagala

Situated in a dry zone, Inginiyagala town and its surrounds have always suffered from water and irrigation issues. The area usually receives North-East Monsoon rains during the period of October to February, and the remaining eight months constitute the dry season, without any rainfall.   However the monsoon has arrived late in the past few years, aggravating the situation in the dryzone.  Now for many there is no water for cultivation and drinking purposes, and the lives of hundreds of farming families and school children in the region have been badly affected. 

School children in the region lack water for drinking and washing purpose during school hours from 7.30 am- 2.30 pm. Most of the schools in and around Inginiyagala have no proper pipe-born water or any other regular water source for school children. For school hours children either go without or go to nearby houses to have drinking water and most of the children have simply no access to water for toilets.

The Aspirations Foundation has proposed to have at least one or two tube wells for this for addressing the drinking water situation. As there is no government allocation for this purpose, and schools therefore depend on NGOs, ‘well-wishers’ and the community assistance.

A rain water harvesting system would assist with the severe water problem at schools.  The rain water could be collected, and stored during the rainy season and used for the dry season.  As Inginiyagala’s elevation is around 20 feet meters above sea level it is possible to building pit wells for both drinking and other irrigation purposes.  Pumps and piping can be sourced very cheaply locally, and enthusiastic labour in the form of parents, families, and other community volunteers  is in ready supply.  The ‘Ampara Project’s task is to provide expertise, fund and manage this cost-effectively and sustainably.

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