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EBRD, Swiss Government provide 10.5-mln-Euro loan for efficient water and sanitation of Bishkek

February 5, 2014

The EBRD is helping to improve Bishkek's water and sanitation services and plan for long-term sustainability. The Bishkek Water Company manages assets including a 1,277 km-long water supply pipe network and 605 km of waste water collectors. These are only part of the infrastructure that helps to provide clean water and sanitation services to over 1.5 million people living in the Kyrgyz capital and its surroundings. After the collapse of the Soviet Union , Kyrgyzstan faced a rapid deterioration in public infrastructure and basic services once taken for granted. In the capital, rapid urbanization in recent years with increase of water consumption registered in the north and new settlements to be supplied in the south have put an additional strain on the already stretched capacity of the water mains. In Bishkek, since 2009, the water company has been working on an extensive modernization program. With a 5.5 million loan from the EBRD, co-financed with a 5 million grant by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the water supply and sanitation infrastructure is being restored. In Orto-Alysh, where the underground water originates from before it reaches Bishkek's houses, shops and factories, three old pipes that connect to the chlorination system have been replaced by a single, over-ground pipe with a larger diameter. It will prevent water from freezing and damaging the infrastructure during the cold winter. Seven hundred meters of new pipes have already been substituted and over a thousand more will be in place before the end of the year. This work is being done while the water is still being pumped, with no interruption to the service. The loan was also used to purchase new equipment and vehicles for the repairs. EBRD has also extended loans and technical cooperation support to improve public transport and solid waste services in the capital. The water project benefited from extensive international donor support that provided a total of 1.4 million. Sweden provided funds for all the work needed to prepare a solid investment plan. SECO funded engineering and implementation support while the Bank's Early Transition Countries Fund and the Shareholder Special Fund funded technical cooperation to increase the company's capacity and help them engage with the local community through public awareness campaigns on the ongoing works, the importance of saving water and paying for the service.

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Source: AKIpress News Agency (Kyrgyz Republic)

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