The Financial Express

Govt, WB sign $100m financing deal for safe water, sanitation in municipalities

Published: October 30, 2019 13:51:44 | Updated: October 30, 2019 18:15:39

Photo source: UNB Photo source: UNB

Bangladesh on Wednesday signed a $100 million financing agreement with the World Bank to ensure improved water supply, sanitation, and drainage system in 30 selected municipalities, benefitting about 0.6 million (600,000) people.

Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Monowar Ahmed and World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan Mercy Tembon signed the agreement on behalf of their respective sides at the Economic Relations Division.

The Municipal Water Supply and Sanitation Project will provide safe piped water to residents of selected municipalities that currently lack piped water facilities, UNB reported citing the global lending agency. 

The project will facilitate public private partnerships and help build infrastructures, including water treatment facility, water storage, transmission and distribution pipe network, house connections, including metres, as well as improved sanitation facilities in low income areas and slums.

“Today, more and more people are living in cities, creating an urgent demand for quality urban infrastructures, including water and sanitation services,” said Tembon.

She said this project will help the people living in small towns, including the slum dwellers, get piped water and improved sanitation and drainage services. 

“With greater access to clean water, the women will have more time otherwise spent for collecting water, as well the health of their children will improve resulting in better school attendance,” said Tembon.

The project will help construct public toilets. It will invest in septage management and disposal, as well as provide training to cleaning workers in fecal sludge management. It will also identify and mitigate measures for critical areas prone to flooding.

“In the Sector Development Plan and the National Strategy for Water Supply and Sanitation, the government has aimed for 85 to 90 percent piped water supply coverage in municipalities by 2025,” said Monowar Ahmed.

He said the project will help the municipalities have greater capacity to manage and deliver water and sanitation services.

To facilitate citizen’s feedback, the project will develop mobile apps, IT enabled complaint redressal systems and annual citizen surveys.

The credit, from World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), has a 30-year term, including a five-year grace period, and carries a service charge of 0.75 per cent and an interest of 1.25 per cent.  

The project also includes $100 million financing from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and $9.53 million financing from the government of Bangladesh.

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