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WB, AIIB to extend $260m

Water, sanitation project

FE Report | September 06, 2018 00:00:00

The World Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) are teaming up to fund a water supply and sanitation project in Bangladesh, officials have said.

Both the Washington-based lender and the Beijing-based lender will finance $130 million each to the $270 million scheme.

The remaining $10 million will come from the state coffers to fund the five-year project from next March.

It aims to improve access to piped water supply and sanitation services in selected municipalities of the country, officials concerned said recently.

"We've held rounds of discussions with both WB and AIIB and both have shown their interest in jointly financing the project," said Sarwar Mahmud, additional secretary of the economic relations division.

The public health engineering department under the local government, rural development and cooperatives ministry will implement the project.

"The project concept has already been approved this March while the scheme is likely to get our board approval by this December," AIIB spokesperson Laurel Ostfield told the FE during a recent visit to Dhaka.

Despite high coverage of water supply, poor water quality poses a major challenge for Bangladesh.

Less than 50 per cent of 329 municipalities have piped water systems covering only the core areas of towns.

The supply hours vary from two to 12 hours per day and the average water supply is estimated at 75 litres per capita per day, according to relevant documents.

When it comes to sanitation, only 20 per cent of Dhaka has a sewer network. In a typical municipality, a small proportion of households have septic or holding tanks.

Twenty-five to 50 per cent of households use water-seal latrines emptying into pits. The remaining households use unhygienic latrines or practice open defecation.

In this context, the proposed project will support investment in water supply infrastructure development in the project municipalities, DPHE officials said.

Investments will include construction of intake at raw water source, water treatment plants, treated water storages, and distribution networks, they added.

The project will also focus on the environment through improving sanitation, safe management of faecal sludge, sewage disposal and drainage system.

In addition, it will strengthen institutional capacity of municipalities to effectively manage water supply and sanitation.

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