AKIPRESS.COM - The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a $239 million credit from the International Development Association for financing of the Water Services and Institutional Support Project in Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan’s water services and sanitation (WSS) infrastructure, constructed mostly during the Soviet period, requires extensive rehabilitation and renewal. Asset replacement, maintenance, and system expansion have not kept pace with the needs of a growing population, resulting in stagnation and decline in the quality of WSS services in many areas.
“By the completion of this project, over 500,000 people in three regions of Uzbekistan will benefit from better water supply and sanitation services,” said Hideki Mori, World Bank Country Manager for Uzbekistan.
The project will help improve infrastructure for sewerage collection and treatment in the towns of Nukus, Takhiatash, and Khodjeyli, in the Republic of Karakalpakstan. It will also finance the development and reconstruction of WSS systems in the Syrdarya region and Kattakurgan town of Samarkand region.
One of the main goals of the project is to reduce energy and water losses across Uzbekistan, which will be done by establishing an energy efficiency financing facility, as well as metering programs, to be made accessible to local water utilities.
Furthermore, the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs will provide a $7.8 million grant to strengthen the planning and regulatory capacity of Uzbekistan’s WSS utilities. These activities will support the Government’s WSS sector reform, improving both efficiency and transparency.
The World Bank supports Uzbekistan through technical assistance and the financing of 21 projects totaling almost $3.5 billion, in the areas of macroeconomic policy, agriculture, health, education, water supply and sanitation, energy, transport, social protection, and urban and rural development.