BISHKEK (TCA) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $36.52 million financing package to help improve wastewater management systems and strengthen the sustainability of water supply and sanitation facilities in the two lakeshore cities of Balykchy and Karakol on Issyk-Kul lake, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Kyrgyzstan, ADB’s Country Office said.
“The clear waters and rich biodiversity of Issyk-Kul lake in the eastern region of the Kyrgyz Republic attract many visitors,” said ADB Urban Development Specialist for Central and West Asia Mr. Ruoyu Hu. “However, this growth in tourism has also meant an increase in environmental concerns. The project will help address these concerns by improving wastewater management systems and services in two of the cities surrounding the lake.”
ADB’s assistance, under the Issyk-Kul Wastewater Management Project, is composed of a $23.68 million loan and a $12.84 million grant from the Asian Development Fund. It will help upgrade the existing wastewater treatment plants in the two lakeshore cities under the project, which were constructed in the 1980s. Balykchy, with a population of 47,000, is located at the western extremity of the lake, while Karakol, with a population of about 76,000, is located at the lake’s eastern part.
However, only about 30% of the population in Balykchy and about 45% of residents in Karakol are connected to the centralized wastewater systems, which only treat about 8 million liters per day (MLD) of wastewater while the remaining 14 MLD of wastewater is disposed through unsanitary pit latrines and other environmentally risky methods.
The project will improve and upgrade the wastewater systems in the two lakeshore cities through the construction of 21.6 kilometers (km) of sewerage; 1.7 km of effluent outfall pipelines; and a new pump station. A reservoir in Karakol, meanwhile, will be desludged by removing 100,000 cubic meters of sludge, while providing seven septage vacuum trucks. It will also strengthen the capacity of vodokanals, or enterprises responsible for water supply and sanitation services, in Balykchy and Karakol as well as improve people’s awareness regarding sanitation and hygiene.
The total cost of the project, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2024, is $41.82 million, with the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic contributing $5.3 million.