World Bank supports improvement of wastewater operations in Uzbekistan

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TASHKENT, Uzbekistan, Nov. 26, 2009 -- The World Bank and the Government of Uzbekistan today signed a US$ 55 million IDA credit for Bukhara and Samarkand Sewerage Project. The Project will help mitigate the environmental impact from wastewater pollution, and improve the efficiency and sustainability of wastewater management in Bukhara and Samarkand.

The Government of Uzbekistan and the district councils of Bukhara and Samarkand have assigned high priority to improving environmental and public health conditions associated with inadequate sewerage and wastewater treatment in these two historical and touristic cities on the ancient Silk Road. The respective population is 300,000 in Bukhara and 400,000 in Samarkand.

"The Bank is in a good position to assist the cities of Bukhara and Samarkand with the beginning of the rehabilitation of the cities' sewerage systems. We have created good working relationship through the financing of the Bukhara and Samarkand Water Supply Project. The signed Sewerage Project will build on the improvements in the efficiency of water operations and on the institutional strengthening under the ongoing water supply project" says Loup Brefort, World Bank's country manager for Uzbekistan.

There are four components to the project:

  • The first component is physical investment. It will finance the rehabilitation and limited expansion of sewerage systems in Bukhara and Samarkand.
  • The second component is the institutional strengthening and capacity building. It will finance capacity building for both Bukhara and Samarkand vodokanals. It will help develop communication strategies and run public awareness-raising campaigns; train staff in managing utilities, emphasizing a consumer orientation, and establish a pilot Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system and database.
  • The third component is the feasibility studies for future investments and it will finance consultant studies for future Government priority investments in the water supply and sanitation sectors.
  • The fourth component is the project management. This component will finance the strengthening of Project Coordination Unit (PCU), including its branches in Bukhara and Samarkand.

By the time the Project is completed the deteriorated sections of the existing sewerage network in both cities will have been rehabilitated; sewerage expanded to currently unconnected areas, and selected investments made to save electric energy at the respective wastewater treatment plants in each city.

Uzbekistan joined the World Bank in 1992. The World Bank's mission in the country is to improve people's livelihoods through being a partner in economic reforms, supporting the modernization of the country's social sectors and infrastructure, and sharing its knowledge and experience with the government and the people of Uzbekistan.

Total World Bank commitments to Uzbekistan amount to US$ 780 million.

For more information on the World Bank's work in Uzbekistan, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org.uz

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