Making it Safer to Cross Waterways in Sri Lanka

Published By: ELDIS | Published Date: October, 17 , 2007

Sri Lanka has about 120,000 engineered rural waterway crossings (such as bridges) and another 250,000 non-engineered crossings built and maintained by communities. Because of a lack of financial and human resources, local authorities are unable to maintain them. Marginalised rural communities are concerned that they are unsafe and restrict their access to markets and government services. Research undertaken for the International Forum for Rural Transport and Development assessed the state of waterway crossings and evaluated community safety concerns. Non-engineered crossings have been constructed to shorten the walking distances to essential services and other villages. About 80 percent of the crossings examined have alternative and safer access routes but the distances involved can be up to 12 times greater. Most are made of railings, concrete slabs or coconut logs positioned across channels. Almost all the non-engineered crossings are structurally unsound, lack abutments and are subject to constant erosion. Most become unusable after floods.

Author(s): Granie Jayalath | Posted on: Feb 01, 2016 | Views()

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