Published:  02:11 AM, 13 July 2019

WB approves $100m to improve water supply

WB approves $100m to improve water supply

The World Bank has approved $100 million to increase access to improved water supply and sanitation system in selected 30 municipalities in Bangladesh.

The Municipal Water Supply and Sanitation Project will help about 600,000 people living in small towns get safe water through piped water supply systems, the World Bank said in a statement yesterday.

The project will install water infrastructures, including water treatment facility, water storage, transmission and distribution pipe network, house connections including meters, and others in the selected 30 municipalities that currently do not have piped water systems.

In Bangladesh, about 87 percent households have access to various improved water sources, but only 10 percent people have access to piped water supply. About half of the municipalities have basic piped water systems, but covering only a small share of population in town centers.

"With Bangladesh's rapid urbanization, both small towns and big cities need to improve their infrastructures, including water and sanitation systems, to cater to the growing population," said Mercy Tembon, World Bank country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan.

"Water and sanitation systems are an integral part of a modern city. This project will contribute to the government's goal of expanding piped water coverage in municipal areas."

The project will also help the participating municipalities improve sanitation and drainage systems. This will include investments in septage management, public toilets, septage disposal, and critical drainage infrastructure. It will provide equipment and training to cleaning workers for faecal sludge management.

"To ensure governance structure and mandates of local municipalities, decentralization of institutional responsibilities is important," said Arif Ahamed, World Bank senior water specialist.

"The project will support the municipalities to build capacity to install and manage water and sanitation systems as well as have stronger institutional and financial systems for operation and maintenance works. The municipalities will have the ability to form effective private public partnership for water and sanitation services."

The credit from the World Bank's International Development Association, which provides concessional financing, has a 30-year term, including a five-year grace period, and an interest rate of 1.25 percent with a service charge of 0.75 percent.

The project also includes $100 million financing from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and $9.53 million financing from the government of Bangladesh.

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