TASHKENT (TCA) — The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved a $145 million loan to help improve water supply and sanitation services in the Republic of Karakalpakstan (RK), an autonomous republic in northwestern Uzbekistan. The project will benefit about 388,000 residents, half of whom are women and girls, the ADB country office in Uzbekistan said.
“Improving water supply conditions is critical in RK,” said ADB Principal Urban Development Specialist for Central and West Asia Mr. Hao Zhang. “Upgrading water supply and sanitation services will help people in the area live better lives, especially for 178,000 women and girls who will have access to continuous potable centralized water supply.”
Spanning more than 165,000 square kilometers (km) and home to about 1.8 million people, Karakalpakstan regularly suffers from water supply issues. This is exacerbated by the fact that existing infrastructure from the region’s municipal water supply services provider requires capacity upgrades.
Currently, only 37% of the population in the project area is connected to the centralized water supply system, while 40% of connected households receive water for less than 6 hours per week. Water quality is also a concern.
The project will help upgrade and expand water supply networks in Karakalpakstan, improve climate change awareness and resilience of people in the area, build institutional capacity of relevant authorities, and strengthen the sustainability of the region’s water supply and sanitation utility. Specifically, the project will support the construction, rehabilitation, and expansion of three water treatment plants; construction and rehabilitation of about 300 km of water mains; construction and rehabilitation of 28 water distribution centers; construction and rehabilitation of about 900 km in the water distribution network; and the provision of consumer meters.
In the capacity strengthening area, the project will help formulate performance indicator-based reporting; establish a training center; operationalize a nonrevenue water control system, geographic information system, and hydraulic modeling; introduce web-based management and reporting systems; and commission a grievance redress mechanism.
The total cost of the project, which is expected to be completed in July 2024, is $172.3 million, with the Government of Uzbekistan providing $27.3 million.