AKIPRESS.COM - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approvedadditional grant financing of $38 million for a project rehabilitating and expanding climate-resilient water supply and sanitation infrastructure in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. The project will help to strengthen the institutional capacity of the state water and sewerage utility DushanbeVodokanal, and to promote women’s empowerment in the country.
The grant supplements the $41.18 million grant ADB approved in 2018 for the improvement of water supply and sanitation systems in Tajikistan’s capital.
"The project will complement investments and institutional reforms being implemented by other development partners, and it will improve quality of life, health, urban resilience, and economic growth in Dushanbe. We expect, as a result of the project, that 125,000 people will get 24/7 piped water supply and 500,000 people will benefit from improved sewerage," ADB Director General for Central and West Asia Yevgeniy Zhukov said.
Water supply and sanitation systems in Dushanbe, which has an estimated population of 916,000 people, have deteriorated because of age, lack of capital investment, and inadequate maintenance.
The lack of public understanding of water conservation, combined with low tariffs, led to significant water wastage. Sewerage services are only provided to about 70% of the population in Dushanbe. Anticipated climate impacts (floods, droughts, and heat waves) will aggravate the problems.
The additional financing will expand water supply and sanitation investments in the Shohmansur District, including rehabilitation of additional wells, pumping stations, transmission and distribution networks, installation of smart meters, and rehabilitation and construction of collector sewer and sewerage networks.
"To ensure the sustainability of the investments, the project will implement a corporate business plan for DushanbeVodokanal, improve its operational and financial efficiency, and reduce nonrevenue water. The project will also enhance climate mitigation with the use of energy-efficient pumps, and boost climate resilience by reducing water loss and consumption," ADB Senior Urban Development Specialist for Central and West Asia Massimo Petrone noted.
The project will support women’s empowerment, protection, and skills development. A women’s development center will be established to enhance women’s technical, leadership, and business skills, to support domestic violence survivors and their children, and to improve water, sanitation and hygiene awareness and practice.
Since the beginning of 2018, Tajikistan has received ADB assistance exclusively on a gratuitous basis. The assistance was provided 50/50 in 2015-2017, that is, 50% were loans and 50% were grants.