Arup Community Engagement


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Arup Community Engagement

Project overview

Project overview

In early December, Edwin Fung (Melbourne), Daniel Lambert and Brendon Mills (both Singapore) from Arup visited the site of the Kathirweli Tsunami Reconstruction project in Sri Lanka. The goal of the project is to provide a reliable water source to be used for domestic consumption and for irrigation within the local agricultural industry. During the site visit, staff were travelling with Engineers Without Borders (EWB) and Practical Action to provide initial advice on flooding and local groundwater issues (saltwater intrusion). We also provided solutions for optimising storage for irrigation purposes.

Arup inspected areas of the river catchment that had been adversely impacted by the flooding that had occurred. This enabled the team to gain a stronger understanding of the impacts and potential options to protect the community in these areas.

Arup also met with the irrigators and irrigation department to understand the shortfall of water supply in the dry season. During the site visit, we visited a large flood plain which can potentially be used to retard river flows and to manage the release of this water as a source of more consistent supply. EWB was excited by Arup’s concept for the area and is hoping to convert this area into a storage site for irrigation.

Water samples taken from the wells of the residents in the villages indicated that groundwater has been over extracted and therefore salt intrusion into the groundwater occurred. This trend and its consequences will prove detrimental to the local population if water security remains unarrested.

At the end of our trip, we presented our initial findings to the Sri Lankan authorities. We also facilitated and engaged in a fruitful workshop involving key stakeholders. This was an opportunity for them to raise their concerns and needs and to align project goals. Arup will continue to provide technical advice to support the development to ensure that the project will achieve a successful outcome.

This project also serves to strengthen Arup’s strategic partnership with EWB in Australasia and provides a good opportunity to support them on future projects located throughout the South East Asian region.
Edwin Fung, Arup, Hong Kong



1 December, 2012
Site visit to Kathirweli Tsunami Reconstruction project in Sri Lanka

Arup team members visited the site of the Kathirweli Tsunami Reconstruction project in Sri Lanka.

1 April, 2012
Funding secured to begin the Kathirweli project

We have secured funding to begin the Kathirweli project which aims to provide a reliable irrigation source for the local community as well as introduce new local capacity beyond the agricultural industry.

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