Sri Lanka has a population of 20 million people, with an estimated 22% being the urban poor. 50 to 60% of the over 2.3 million people living in Colombo, the capital city, are estimated to live in slums. Although it is a democracy, Sri Lanka is troubled by an on-going civil war, with fighting between government and rebel troops still active, despite attempts at peace. In spite of this, Sri Lanka has solid economic growth and by developing country standards, its’ financial sector is relatively liquid and quite sophisticated.
Kuruniyawatta is located in the outskirts of the Shell-Gas Road off Kolonnawa main junction within Kolonnawa MC. The total population of the entire settlement is 235 and their livelihood options comprise of working as Municipal Council labourers, threewheeler drivers, and other small scale, low-income business men. It is a multi ethnic community inclusive of Sinhalese, Sri Lankan Tamils, Indian Tamils, Sri Lankan Muslims, Malays and other ethnic minorities.
The SUF project will upgrade the living conditions of the community by upgrading their housings while ensuring them to get the proper titles. The proposed development of the Kuruniyawatta settlement will take place on site as the same land will be utilized for the development process. Since most of the infrastructure is available within the settlement, the project will upgrade the existing houses within the limited area space.
The project will find solutions mainly to the flood mitigation, housing upgrade, and infrastructure. Different means of verification have been identified and proposed by the Engineering Company.
Expected results include tried and tested mechanisms for providing capital financing for slum upgrading in Sri Lanka and for the Kuruniyawatta community; the provision of housing and infrastructure upgrading and flood protection; improved quality of life in participating communities, and; and leveraged private bank participation in slum upgrading projects.
Improved living conditions for the low-income community of Kuruniyawatta.