BISHKEK (TCA) — Over 19,000 citizens of the Kyrgyz city of Cholpon-Ata will have regular access to safe drinking water and improved wastewater services thanks to a joint investment in the amount of €5.1 million provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Union, the EBRD said.
The financing will be used to replace old water pipes, some of which installed over 60 years ago. It will help reduce the risk of water borne diseases and enable better control of water quality.
Specialised equipment, including two backhoe loaders, a pickup truck and a mobile workshop with a total cost of €271,604, was handed over in a ceremony on July 23 which was attended by the mayor of Cholpon-Ata, Talant Sarbagyshev, the municipal water company director, Makhmud Turdakunov, the EU Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic, Eduard Auer and the EBRD Regional Head for Central Asia, Neil McKain.
The new equipment will help the water company to launch water infrastructure improvements in the city. The investment will improve access to clean water, reduce water losses, improve resilience to climate change and optimise Cholpon-Ata Water Company’s operating costs.
The financing consists of two parallel loans of €1 million each by the EBRD and the EIB and a €3.1 million grant by the EU.
The investment is supported by €1.1 million grant covering project implementation support and corporate development program from the EBRD’s Early Transition Countries Fund (funded by Canada, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Japan, South Korea, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taipei China and the United Kingdom).
To date, the EBRD has invested over €744 million in the economy of the Kyrgyz Republic, with a majority of investments supporting private entrepreneurship. In 2018 alone the Bank signed 16 projects in the country collectively worth €37.5 million. Over €153 million has been invested in 19 water projects across the country to date.
For the period of 2014-2019 the EU has supported the Kyrgyz Republic with €174 million in sectors as education, integrated rural development and rule of law. Additionally, the EU has provided €90.5 million grants to support investments, mainly in the water sector.