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Kyrgyzstan|environment|June 24, 2024 / 11:56 AM
ADB provides $56 million to improve wastewater management and boost sustainable tourism in Kyrgyzstan

AKIPRESS.COM - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing $56 million funding to the Kyrgyz Republic to improve wastewater management and enhance sustainable and inclusive tourism in Issyk-Kul region, renowned for its touristic appeal and importance.

The funding comprises a $25 million concessional loan and a $31 million Asian Development Fund (ADF) grant. The ADF provides grants to ADB’s poorest and most vulnerable developing member countries.

The Issyk-Kul region is particularly popular because of its rich ecological, cultural, and biological diversity, and Issyk-Kul Lake is one of the main attractions. Cholpon-Ata, a resort town, is the preferred destination for about 80% of tourists who visit the lake. However, the town’s aging wastewater network connects only about half of the population and excludes almost a third of tourism facilities and resorts.

ADB’s project will build climate-resilient infrastructure such as a wastewater treatment plant, pumping stations, and improved sewer infrastructure serving main resorts, guesthouses, residential and business areas in the Cholpon-Ata area. These initiatives will help preserve the environment of the lake.

The project will also improve tourism infrastructure by building a museum and a tourism information center, improving and conserving the local archeological heritage site, constructing bike trails and walking paths around the lake's shore, upgrading three public parks, and improving the accessibility to green spaces. The project will also support local authorities to develop a climate-resilient tourism master plan for Cholpon-Ata.

“Economic growth can be driven by low-carbon tourism built on sound environmental practices and climate-resilient infrastructure,” said ADB Director General for Central and West Asia Yevgeniy Zhukov. “ADB’s project addresses critical challenges faced by Cholpon-Ata’s tourism industry. By integrating environmental improvements and wastewater investments with tourism infrastructure, we are helping shift Kyrgyz Republic to a low-carbon growth trajectory.”

“The construction of climate-resilient wastewater infrastructure in Cholpon-Ata will reduce the risk of drought with the safe reuse of the treated wastewater for irrigation and reduce flood risk in the town by managing stormwater overflows during heavy rainfalls,” said ADB Principal Urban Development Specialist Massimo Petrone.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the partnership between ADB and the Kyrgyz Republic—a cooperation spanning more than 217 projects and technical assistance in key economic sectors. Since the Kyrgyz Republic joined ADB in 1994, the bank has committed public sector loans, grants, and technical assistance totaling $2.6 billion to the country.

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