WASHINGTON, May 8, 2012 – Over 200,000 people residing in five Tajik towns - Kurgan-Tube, Farkhor, Dangara, Kulyab and Vose - will benefit from improved access to clean water and high-quality utility services. The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved today an additional financing grant in the amount of US$11.85 million for the Tajikistan Municipal Infrastructure Development Project (MIDP). The grant will finance the costs of expanding investment in the water and sanitation sector and places a greater emphasis on institutional strengthening to ensure long-term improvements in the quality of people’s lives. US$2 million will be made available to mitigate the impact of exceptional spring flooding on households in the Khatlon Region.
The additional grant will assist the Government in identifying financing mechanism options to support the development of the water and sanitation sector, attract and leverage donor contributions. The latter component will also include piloting of metering and demand management program, piloting of Household Connection Subsidy program for small towns to improve equity of access to water supply, and piloting of modern billing and collection technology. The on-going activities will be scaled-up to strengthen capacity of the State Unitary Enterprise “Khojagiyi Manziliyu Kommunali” (SUE “KMK”) to provide centralized oversight over local utilities and to respond to emergency situations caused by natural disasters, through better equipment and flood protection measures along selected vulnerable river sections.
“The Bank has always placed a high priority on improving the quality of water services delivered to the people of Tajikistan, as well as helping ensure the sustainability of these improvements,” said Marsha Olive, World Bank Country Manager in Tajikistan.
The World Bank is committed to improving the operational and financial sustainability of the utilities sector in Tajikistan. Thus, in two of the five towns, at the request of the Tajik Government, the World Bank will pilot institutional strengthening measures, to complement infrastructure investments in water, sanitation and solid waste services. The pilot initiatives aim to increase the sustainability and performance of water supply services.
The original MIDP project, which is scheduled to end in August 2012, has successfully implemented municipal infrastructure investments in eight participating towns: Kurgan-Tube, Kulyab, Dangara, Istaravshan, Gharm, Vose, Kanibadam, Vahdat, through: i) financing the rehabilitation and repair of infrastructure and installations and the replacement of equipment at local branches of the SUE “KMK”, and ii) assisting the SUE “KMK” and its local branches in improving the management of basic municipal services delivery. As a result of the project, the eight participating towns have benefited from 146 percent increase in the number of people with access to an improved water source; an average of 20 percent increase in the number of daily access hours to water, and an average of 31 percent reduction in unaccounted water.
The Tajikistan Municipal Infrastructure Development Project is currently financed through a US$26.85 million grant from the International Development Agency (IDA), part of the World Bank Group, US$2.53 million co-financing from the Government of Tajikistan, in addition to US$88 thousand in contributions from project beneficiaries.
The current World Bank portfolio in Tajikistan consists of 14 projects with net commitments of US$225 million. The largest share of the portfolio is in the energy and water sector (35%), agriculture and rural development (31%), human development (education, health and social protection (30%), and economic policy and public sector (4%).