WASHINGTON, DC, March 10, 2011 – Today the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a loan of $150 million to the People’s Republic of China to help improve the environmental conditions and ensure safe drinking water for the residents in Liuzhou in southwestern China through proper collection and treatment of wastewater.
The city of Liuzhou, with a population of more than 3.6 million, is the largest industrial center in Guangxi with more than 1,000 industrial enterprises. In recent years, the environmental condition of Liuzhou deteriorated as a result of fast industrialization combined with rapid urbanization. The Liujiang River, which is the main source of drinking and industrial water use of the city, suffered from pollution from untreated sewage and rainwater flows.
In November 2005 the World Bank launched the first phase of the Liuzhou Environmental Management Project to help improve the environmental conditions in Liuzhou’s core urban area through improved wastewater collection and treatment, sanitation control, solid waste management, industrial wastewater pollution control, and technical assistance. The project significantly increased waste water collection and treatment in Liuzhou from 15 percent in 2005 to approximately 70 percent by 2010.
The Liuzhou Environmental Management Project Phase II will expand the environment management activities in four counties, two districts, and core urban area of Liuzhou. The new project aims to increase collection and treatment of wastewater to 85 percent in the greater core urban area and will introduce waste water treatment to less developed counties. These counties are expected to reach treatment levels of 50 percent. The project will also support capacity building in managing urban environmental infrastructure assets and linking infrastructure investments to a broader environmental protection agenda via using innovative urban planning and asset management tools. The World Bank also seeks to introduce innovation and international best practice through the co-combustion of sludge in cement producing kilns.
“The second phase of the Liuzhou Environmental Management project deepens the transformation of the city into a sustainable urban system. The projects ensure that urban and industrial growth are compatible with environmental quality,” said Victor M. Vergara, World Bank’s Urban Sector Leader for the East Asia and Pacific Region and Task Team Leader of the project.
The total project costs are US$300 million with the World Bank contributing 50 percent.