New World Bank-funded rural water supply and sanitation project for Kyrgyzstan

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BISHKEK (TCA) — More than 100,000 people living in the poor rural areas of Kyrgyzstan are expected to benefit from improved access to quality water and sanitation services thanks to US $23.5 million in financing for the Sustainable Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Development Project, approved by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors. US $12.92 million of this financing is a concessional credit, while $10.58 million is a grant, the World Bank said.

The Sustainable Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Development Project (SRWSSDP) will improve access to quality water and sanitation services in 14 villages in Osh, Chui and Issyk-Kul regions and strengthen the capacity of national institutions in the water supply and sanitation sector.

“This project will address urgent investment needs in the sector and help communities reduce healthcare costs, improve well-being, keep children in school and increase opportunities for women and girls,” says Jean-Michel Happi, World Bank Country Manager in the Kyrgyz Republic. “In the Kyrgyz Republic, water supply and sanitation services have been an integral part of the World Bank’s support toward reducing poverty. Our past assistance in this sector has provided access to clean water and improved health outcomes for residents of 259 villages across the country. Still more work needs to be done and access to safe water supply and sanitation remains an important development priority.”

It is expected the project will benefit people residing in the participating rural villages: Otuzadyr, Kyrgyz-Ata, Togotoi, Gulbaar, Sary-Tash, Achyk-Suu (Osh region); Sultan, Panfilovka, Kun-Too, Alekseyevka, Kyzyl-Tuu, Tolok (Chui region); Chelpek and Darkhan (Issyk-Kul region). Furthermore, some 16,000 people, mostly children, will directly benefit from improved sanitation facilities in 46 schools and kindergartens, and from educational campaigns promoting better health and hygiene practices. Communities and local governments will be closely involved in identifying priority investment needs in their communities through public consultations.

“In addition to water supply infrastructure and sanitation development, the project will build the capacity of local authorities and community drinking water users unions responsible for water service delivery in the project areas,” says David Lord, the World Bank’s Senior Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist. “The project will also work with the Department of Drinking Water Supply and Wastewater Disposal Development to build its institutional capacity, strengthen the regulatory environment, and support implementation of the State Program for Water Supply and Sanitation Development in Settlements of the Kyrgyz Republic, which was approved by the Government in September 2014.”

The project will be implemented between 2017-2022 by the Community Development and Investment Agency under the overall responsibility of the Department of Drinking Water Supply and Wastewater Disposal Development of the Kyrgyz Republic.

Sergey Kwan

TCA