The Mahaweli Authority Sri Lanka was established to implement the largest multi-purpose Integrated Development Programme ever launched in the country. It is responsible for engineering construction work as well as the establishment of human settlements providing irrigation facilities, social infrastructure, post settlement services, maintenance and management of the settlements and their infrastructure. The MASL system has traditionally had a topdown approach which has contributed to dependancy as well as incurring a high financial cost. Since 1994 the MASL strategy has aimed at a gradual transfer of management of settlements to farmer organisations, thereby overcoming dependancy through empowerment of the farmers, using participatory methods. This has required time, and attitude and behavioral changes at all levels of MASL. This seminar paper details the MASL system and the move towards a sustainable management system based on farmer participation.
National Academy of Science, Sri Lanka