Dec 21, 2006

World Bank Supports Improving Water Supply in Tajikistan

The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors endorsed a US$ 5 million credit and grant as additional financing for the Dushanbe Water Supply Project for the Republic of Tajikistan.

The additional financing will support the costs associated with scaling up on-going work under the current Dushanbe Water Supply Project, thus increasing its impact and development effectiveness. Continued repair and rehabilitation of the water supply system in Dushanbe is a priority of the Government of Tajikistan, which recognizes that improved and safe water supply in Dushanbe is critical to improving health and the environment.

The original World Bank credit of US$17 million for the Dushanbe Water Supply Project was approved in 2002 to support the first step of a program of improving water supply services in the city of Dushanbe. The repair and rehabilitation activities under the project have already resulted in service improvement in some parts of the city, and increased the availability of clean and safe water. These improvements included rehabilitation and upgrading of water sources at three intakes around the city. At the time, it was recognized that full rehabilitation of the Dushanbe water supply system would be a long and costly process, requiring a phased approach.

Despite improvements in water supply services in some parts of the city as a result of the first project, many citizens of Dushanbe continue to face poor service levels, with people in poor neighborhoods receiving only intermittent supplies. Rehabilitation of the water supply system in Dushanbe to restore services to reasonably satisfactory levels will require financing in addition to that provided under the on-going project. The additional financing will help the Municipality of Dushanbe and the Dushanbe Vodokanal continue with system rehabilitation, and thereby contribute towards meeting the huge investment needs of the city. It will provide an opportunity to broaden access to water and improve the quality of water supply services in the city, thus increasing the quality of life of its population.

"The Government of Tajikistan is committed to improve the quality and reliability of water supply and sanitation services in Dushanbe, and to reverse a pattern of service deterioration," said Mr. Jonathan Kamkwalala, the World Bank's task team leader for the project. "This project will help the government continue with the rehabilitation activities and institutional improvement required to restore service levels in the city of Dushanbe. Scaling up rehabilitation activities in the city is a priority of both the Government and the World Bank".

The additional financing for the Dushanbe Water Supply Project will support five components. The first component involves the purchase and installation of sodium hypo-chlorine equipment for the disinfection of raw water. The second component involves the rehabilitation of rapid sand filters at the Napornaya Water Treatment Plant, one of the water intake sources for Dushanbe. The third component involves the procurement of equipment and booster stations, to reduce intermittent water supply to city residents. The fourth component will support technical assistance to the Dushanbe Vodokanal to improve its institutional and technical capacity. Finally, the fifth component will support project management, by financing operating costs of the Project Management Unit. The project will be implemented by the Dushanbe Vodokanal.

The project implementation period is one and half years, commencing in February 2007. As a result of the additional financing, the water supply quality and reliability are expected to improve, particularly to poorer neighborhoods of the city, thus resulting in a higher level of customer satisfaction with the delivery of water services.