The 3rd Plenary Session for the Platform on Water Resilience and Disasters in Sri Lanka was held on February 20, 2019, at the Irrigation Department in Colombo, Sri Lanka, following the 1st session on August 24, 2017, and the 2nd one on March 28, 2018. More than 40 experts participated from the water-related government organizations of Sri Lanka including the Irrigation Department, the National Building Research Organization (NBRO), the Disaster Management Center (DMC), the Department of Meteorological (DOM), the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development, the Mahaweli Authority of the Ministry of Mahaweli, and the Sri Lankan Land Reclamation and Development Corporation (SLLRDC).
The session started with the welcome speech by Eng. S. Mohanarajah, the director general of the Irrigation Department, and then the opening remarks delivered by Prof. Toshio Koike, the director of ICHARM, and Prof. Srikantha Herath, the team leader of the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development. ICHARM researchers and Sri Lankan experts presented the recent and prospective progress in the platform activities. Notably, the engineers from the Irrigation Department, who graduated from the master’s course managed by ICHARM and GRIPS, presented their research achievements made during their stay at ICHARM, and a Sri Lankan engineer, who is presently enrolled in the Ph.D. program, spoke on his ongoing research.
The participants also discussed the future direction of activities under the framework of the Platform for three previously selected river basins (i.e., Kalu, Kelani, and Malwathu river basins), as well as for the Mahaweli River basin, which was additionally selected as a target river basin during this session.
Prior to this session, on February 18, Eng. S. Mohanarajah and Prof. Koike signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Irrigation Department and ICHARM. The MOU aims to promote joint research for reducing water-related disasters in the areas requiring close bilateral cooperation, such as flood monitoring, ensemble flood forecasting, the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) modeling under changing climate conditions, and capacity building and training.
Group photo of the session participants
Signing of MOU by Prof. Koike, Director of ICHARM and
Eng. S. Mohanarajah, Director General of the Irrigation Department