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WB okays $100m to provide safe water, sanitation in Bangladesh

  • Published at 02:17 pm July 12th, 2019
World Bank
Logo of the World Bank

Municipal Water Supply and Sanitation project will help about 600,000 people living in small towns

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

The loan will also help build their capacities for delivering water and sanitation services.

The Municipal Water Supply and Sanitation Project will help about 600,000 people living in small towns. In the 30 municipalities that have been selected, the project will install water infrastructures – including water treatment facility, water storage, transmission and distribution of pipe networks. 

About 87% of Bangladeshi households have access to various improved water sources, but only 10% have access to piped water supply. About half of the municipalities have basic piped water systems, but they cover only a small share of the population in town centres.

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

“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," she said.

The project will also help the participating municipalities improve sanitation and drainage system. This includes investments in septage management, public toilets, septage disposal, and critical drainage infrastructure. The project will also provide equipment and training to cleaning workers for fecal 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 and the leader of the project task team.

“The project will support the municipalities to build capacity to install and manage water," he said. "It will help install 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, he said.

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

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