Kyrgyzstan to improve water and sanitation services with World Bank support

BISHKEK (TCA) — More than 100,000 people living in 52 villages across Kyrgyzstan are expected to benefit from improved access to quality water and sanitation services, thanks to US$ 36 million in additional financing for the Sustainable Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Development Project, approved on June 22 by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors. Out of this financing, US$ 19.8 million is a concessional credit, while US$ 16.2 million is a grant.

The original Sustainable Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Development Project, in the amount of US$ 23.5 million, was approved by the World Bank in September 2016. Through this additional financing, the coverage of combined investments will reach 90 villages in Osh, Chui and Issyk-Kul Oblasts, and directly benefit some 207,000 people.

Around two-thirds of the Kyrgyz Republic’s population of 6.2 million people live in remote rural areas, where access to such basic services as safe drinking water supply and sanitation remain an important development issue. Water supply and sanitation services, therefore, have been an integral part of the World Bank’s support to the country.

“The World Bank’s assistance in this sector has already benefited residents of 259 villages across the country. The new project expands upon the original project and provides access to piped metered water services to each individual household, eliminating the practice of shared public standpipes,” says Jean-Michel Happi, World Bank Country Manager for the Kyrgyz Republic. “We expect positive impacts on the quality of life, especially for women, children and the most vulnerable, and a major reduction of occurrences of water-borne diseases in rural areas.”

In the 52 participating villages, existing water supply infrastructure will be rehabilitated, or replaced, and distribution coverage will be expanded. The new project will also revamp existing sanitary facilities in 50 selected schools, kindergartens and health clinics.

Moreover, the project will pilot the introduction of results-based incentive grants for households to upgrade their household sanitation facilities to a hygienic level. This incentives scheme is expected to benefit up to 5,000 households. Financing of physical infrastructure and works will be complemented by sanitation and hygiene promotion programs in schools and communities. The project will also support developing human resources for the sector, from vocational education and universities to specific training programs in design and the construction market.

“The combined projects will form the back-bone of the Kyrgyz Republic’s long-term, program-based strategic approach in the water and sanitation sector,” said David Lord, World Bank Senior Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist, and Task Team Leader for both projects. “The new national rural water and sanitation program ‘Ala-Too Bulagy’ will facilitate investments by the World Bank and other development partners, and utilize them in a structured and efficient way.”

The project will be implemented during 2017-2025 by the Community Development and Investment Agency, under the overall responsibility of the Department of Drinking Water Supply and Wastewater Disposal Development, which is under the State Agency of Architecture, Construction and Communal Services of the Kyrgyz Republic.


Times of Central Asia