WASHINGTON, December 14, 2010 — The World Bank Board of Executive Directors (WB) approved a US$250 million loan today for the Rio Bogota Environmental Recuperation and Flood Control Project, with the intention of turning it into an environmental asset for the Colombian capital’s metropolitan area.
The project seeks to improve water quality in the river’s middle basin up to a level suitable for agricultural use. It also seeks to rehabilitate eight areas (wetlands and meanders) with an area of approximately surface of 175 hectares, which can function as flood detention areas, ecological habitats and public spaces.
“The close relationship with the World Bank allows us to give the green light to this project which is in line with the Strategy and Action Plan for the Bogota River’s Environmental Management, and is an urgent project for the city,” said Edgar Alfonso Bejarano Mendez, Director of the Regional Autonomous Corporation of Cundinamarca (CAR). “We have seen the effects of climate change. This initiative will allow us to avoid events like the ones we have lived this year,” he indicated.
By enhancing and relocating dikes along 68 kilometers of river between the Virgen’s bridge in Cota municipality and the floodgates of Alicachin in Soacha municipality, it is expected that further floods will be prevented, even with storms more intense than any in the last 100 years.
“With this project, we support CAR’s efforts to improve the Bogota River’s water quality as well as reduce the risk of floods such as the ones we have seen in the last few weeks. Multifunctional areas will be created throughout the 68 km of river banks that will be intervened, thus becoming a public space for the benefit of all society,” said Gloria Grandolini, World Bank Director for Colombia and Mexico. “We are committed to the Bogota River’s environmental sustainability,” she added.
The project is composed of four main components and seeks to:
- Optimize and expand the Salitre Treatment Plant, which will go from treating a waste water flow of 4 m3/s to 8 m3/s and with higher standards of water treatment.
- Controlling floods and environmental recovery efforts in the Bogota River, by way of flood control works such as river dredging and dike construction. The project will recover riverside areas, meanders and wetlands, and design parks and landscapes for public use.
- Prepare environmental and water studies to help the Bogota River’s environmental sustainability, which includes: (i) Integrated Water Management Plan for the Bogota River Basin; (ii) Biosolids Master Plan for the Bogota Metropolitan Area; and (iii) Maintenance and Management Plan for the River’s Recovered Area.
- The last component refers to project management and administration on the part of CAR to undertake its implementation, including financial, environmental and contract management, as well as monitoring and supervisory activities.
The current operation is part of the long term dialog established between the WB and the government of Colombia, particularly in the fields of water and sanitation.
The estimated cost of this project totals US$487 million, US$237 million of which are financed by CAR and US$250 million by the WB.
The agency responsible for loan execution is the CAR. This is a fixed term and fixed margin over LIBOR loan with a 10-year maturity period and a 5-year grace period. The front end fee has been established at 0.25% of the total loan amount. The project is expected to end on June 30th, 2016.