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Sri Lanka tsunami repairs costed at £530M

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DEVELOPMENT BANKS have this week put the cost of damage caused by Boxing Day's tsunami in Sri Lanka at £530M, significantly lower the £1.8bn programme of works put forward by the Sri Lankan government.

A World Bank-led investigation has found that in many sectors, repair and reconstruction beyond that requiring immediate attention blurs with work required before the tsunami hit, or with projects needed to improve Sri Lanka's economy.

Sri Lanka's own plan includes many schemes proposed before the tsunami hit (NCE 20 January).

The joint World Bank, Japan Bank for International Co-operation and Asian Development Bank investigation put the cost of lost or damaged housing at £181M, roads at £32M, water and sanitation at £22M, railways at £8M and power at £5.3M.

Most of the 690km of national roads affected by the tsunami were already suffering from neglect and war damage, the report says. This represents 5% of the overall network.

In addition 1,500km of provincial and local roads were damaged, but less extensively as they typically branch off at right angles from the national roads which run along the coast.

The report warns of the need to 'consolidate temporary road and bridge repairs before the onset of the next monsoon season. If this is not done then there is a grave danger that further damage may occur and that temporary repairs may fail.' The report recommends that due to extensive seawater contamination of wells there should be a major push to connect communities to a piped water supply.

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