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WB provides $ 170m for Dhaka's better sanitation

March 22, 2020 00:00:00

The World Bank has approved US$ 170 million to further improve sanitation services in capital, benefiting around 1.5 million urban people.

"World Bank will finance under the Dhaka Sanitation Improvement Project to help improve Dhaka's livability with safely managed sanitation services, particularly in southern part of the city," according to a message received here from Washington on Saturday, reports BSS.

The project will treat sewage, which will help reduce inland flooding and water pollution, it said.

The scheme will also provide 50,000 new household sewer connections. Further, to improve the quality of living in slum and low-income housing areas, the project will upgrade toilets and install communal septic tanks.

"About 3.5 million people living in Dhaka's low-income communities, especially women suffer from poor sanitation and pollution," said Mercy Tembon, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan.

This project will help ensure safe sanitation, which is essential for reducing public health risks as well as extreme poverty, she said.

The project will also help construct a new Sewage Treatment Plant at Pagla area with a capacity of treating about 150 million litres of domestic waste water per day.

"By reducing the volume of untreated wastewater and fecal sludge into drainage canals and water bodies, the project will decrease the risk of inland floods and thus lessen the risks of water contamination," said Arif Ahamed, World Bank Team Leader for the Dhaka Sanitation Improvement Project.

Dhaka's 881 km sewer system is old. Often untreated domestic sewage and industrial effluent are illegally discharged into rivers and canals causing pollution and flooding.

Due to damaged and clogged sewer collection and transmission network, the existing sewer treatment plant can treat about one-fourth of its capacity measuring around 30-40 million litre per day, which is below discharge standard set by the Department of Environment (DoE).

The project will also support Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (DWASA) to improve efficiency in sanitation service delivery.

In addition to the improvement of DWASA's commercial management billing system, the project will help strengthen the management information system (MIS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) for sanitation and IT-enabled customer complaints management system. The project will also facilitate to provide trainings to DWASA officials.

The project will receive a scale-up facility credit from the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA), with a 34-year term, including a four-year grace period.

The project also includes $ 170 million financing from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and $ 143 million financing from the Bangladesh government.

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