After the independence of Sri Lanka, then governments had taken several efforts to provide drinking water facilities, specially, the Rural Water Supply activities were implemented at the divisional levels through the Local Authorities. The common dug wells and small scale pipe borne water facilities were constructed during that period.
However, in our country, the great involvement for the Rural Water Supply was commenced after the declaration “Global Water Decade” in 1980. Subsequently, there were several efforts taken by the NWSDB, Government Institutions and Non Governmental Organizations to improve the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation system. As a result, it has been believed that around 4,000 Rural Pipe Borne Water Supply Schemes have been implemented all over the country through several projects and most of the schemes are managed by the beneficiary community. However, in some of the schemes, it has been observed that there are difficulties in its effective function and its sustainability too.
Therefore, after a long study, the action has been taken to establish the Rural Water & Sanitation (RWS) Units by using the existing institutional setup of the NWSDB to ensure the sustainability of the existing Rural Water Supply systems. Initial steps have been taken to establish the above units in 19 districts and it will expand to other districts in due cause.