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Assessing poverty in Colombo: the case of Gothamipura

April 22, 2016

With a population of approximately 647,000[1], Colombo is the largest city and commercial capital of Sri Lanka. The level of water and sanitation coverage in urban areas in Sri Lanka is relatively high with a reported coverage of 98% for improved water supply and 89% for improved sanitation[2]. Nevertheless, as in most cities, some settlements in Colombo have limited access to basic services such as water and sanitation or solid waste management and where land tenure for residents is uncertain. Environmental degradation, vulnerability to flooding and epidemics and the absence of basic services can exacerbate poverty in these communities.

The Colombo Municipal Council’s (CMC) leads a research team that includes the Sevanatha Urban Resource Centre, a local development NGO, and the Center for Poverty Analysis (CEPA), an independent research institution.

Early in the project, a rapid community appraisal was conducted where residents expressed the need for better sanitation and solid waste management services. This “data brief” highlights major findings of the baseline survey.

Download the data brief (PDF, 2.11MB)

Visit the project website

The Focus City Research Initiative (FCRI) is a series of eight action research projects funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Canada. In the “Focus Cities” approach, multistakeholder city teams worked in partnership over four years, to research and test innovative solutions to alleviate poverty. The participating researchers worked in the following cities : Lima (Peru), Cochabamba (Bolivia), Moreno (Argentina), La Soukra (Tunisia), Dakar (Senegal), Kampala (Uganda), Colombo (Sri Lanka) and Jakarta (Indonesia).

[1] Census, 2001

[2] WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program, 2008