Bangladesh will receive $100 million loans from the World Bank to improve the water supply and sanitation system in 30 municipalities to benefit some 6 lakh people.
Economic Relations Division (ERD) signed a loan deal with the Washington-based lender with regard to this in the capital on Wednesday.The money will be utilized for Municipal Water Supply and Sanitation Project that the government will implement at a cost of US$209.53 million
Besides WB, newly formed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will also provide $100 million credit and the Bangladesh government will bear the rest of $9.53 million, ERD officials informed.
The project will provide safe piped water to residents of selected municipalities that currently do not have piped water facilities. Sanitation and drainage systems will be improved as well.
The WB Country Director Mercy Tembon and ERD Secretary Monowar Ahmed signed the loan deal on behalf of their respective sides.
Chief Engineer of Department of Public Health (DPHE) Saifur Rahman was also present at the signing ceremony held at ERD’s conference room.
“Today, more and more people are living in cities, creating an urgent demand for quality urban infrastructures, including water and sanitation services,” said Mercy Tembon.“This project will help the people living in small towns, including the slum dwellers get piped water and improved sanitation and drainage services. With greater access to clean water, the women will have more time otherwise spent for collecting water, as well the health of their children will improve resulting in better school attendance,” the WB country director added.
The project will facilitate public private partnerships and help build infrastructures, including water treatment facility, water storage, transmission and distribution pipe network, house connections, including meters, as well as improved sanitation facilities in low income areas and slums.
The project will help construct public toilets. It will invest in septage management and disposal, as well as provide training for cleaning workers in fecal sludge management. It will also identify and mitigate measures for critical areas prone to flooding.
In its Sector Development Plan and the National Strategy for Water Supply and Sanitation, the government has aimed for 85 to 90 percent piped water supply coverage in municipalities by 2025, Monowar Ahmed informed.
“Bangladesh has done very well in the water and sanitation sector. The project will help the municipalities have a greater capacity to manage and deliver water and sanitation services,” he remarked.
The development partners and DPHE selected the 30 municipalities after conducting a study on 185 municipalities across the country, DPHE chief engineer informed.
To facilitate citizen’s feedback, the project will develop mobile apps IT enabled complaint systems and annual citizen surveys.
The credit from the International Development Association (IDA) of WB has a 30-year term, including a five-year grace period, and carries a service charge of 0.75 percent and an interest of 1.25 percent.