23rd Congress of International Commission on Irrigation & Drainage (ICID) held in Mexico City, in Mexico from 8th to 14th October 2017. Hon. Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management as the Cabinet Minister-in-charge of the subject of Irrigation and Drainage in Sri Lanka, was invited to attend to this International event by the Secretary General of the ICID.

The Hon. Minister was expected to attend to High Level Ministerial Advisory Committee of the ICID because, Sri Lanka is considered as one of the countries which are having long experience in Irrigation and Drainage sector. Eng. Sudharma Elakanda, Project Director of Climate Resilience Improvement Project participated for this ICID Congress along with the Hon Minister.

Sri Lanka is a full member of the ICID and its focal point is the Department of Irrigation, Sri Lanka. ICID activities are coordinated through the National Committee on Irrigation & Drainage which is the Sri Lankan Branch of the ICID.

In the month of September 2017, Mexico suffered with three major Earth Quakes with magnitude of 6.1, 8.1, and 7.1. Latest one was took place on 19th October 2017. Due to this risky situation participation was uncertain until the last minute.

Ceremonial opening of the ICID Congress was conducted under the participation of His Excellency the President of Mexico and the Mayor of the Mexico City.

According to the available records, nearly 350 people were killed in Mexico due to recent earth quakes in occurred. Considerable number of buildings were totally destroyed and large number of buildings were badly damaged due to the impact of this repeated earthquakes occurred in September 2017. Mayor of the Mexico City explained at the meeting how he has manage and recovered this critical situation within a very short period. It shows the courage and strength of the Government of the Mexico and people of the Mexico. Hon. Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management of Sri Lanka, Wijith Wijemuni Zoysa stated in his speech at the High Level Ministerial Advisory Committee meeting that , best example to endorse the courage and strength of the Government of Mexico and it’s people is, holding this ICID Congress according to the schedule without making any changes to the dated and to the venues.

During the program the Hon Minister had a very fruitful discussions with the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Iran and with the President and Secretary General of ICID on the contribution which Sri Lanka could provide to achieve the objectives of the ICID as an active member.

In conclusion, the Hon. Minister conveyed the condolence to the citizens and the Government of Mexico for the difficult situation face by the country, on behalf of the His Excellency President and People of the Democratic, Socialist, Republic of Sri Lanka.

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