WASHINGTON, D.C., May 31, 2013 – Today the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a loan totaling US$80 million to the People’s Republic of China to reduce flood risks and improve drainage in selected areas of Laibin City in Guangxi, benefiting about 260,000 current residents as well as 300,000 more people who are expected to move to Laibin City over the next 10 to 15 years.
Laibin City is located in the central part of the Guangxi Zhuangzu Autonomous Region in southern China. Several major rivers cross Laibin: the Hongshui River and its main tributaries Longdong River, Beizhijiang Rivers and Caoxiegou Stream. In addition, the City is crisscrossed by 12 artificial canals.
Flood management is a major concern for Laibin. The City experiences a major flood every four to five years, and the frequency of extreme rainfall is likely to increase due to climate change. However, the existing storm drainage and flood control systems are not performing well due to inadequate engineering, incomplete works, lack of maintenance and deficient waste management.
“As the City continues to develop, and the value of assets in the urban area exposed to floods increases, expected damages from flooding will also increase. Improving the effectiveness of flood management and the drainage system is crucial for Laibin to reduce risks from future floods to the people, economy and development of Laibin City,” said Paul Procee, World Bank Sector Coordinator for Rural-Urban Integration in China.
The Guangxi Laibin Water Environment Project is designed to reduce flood risk by upgrading flood protection-related infrastructure such as embankments, pumping stations, sluice gates and flood protection dykes along the major rivers and developing an integrated flood control and water quality monitoring system, and to improve urban drainage by rehabilitating water streams, expanding and separating sewage and storm drainage networks in the old urban area, constructing and rehabilitating pumping stations, control and sluice gates, and rubber dams, and piloting low impact sustainable drainage systems along selected urban roads. Technical assistance will also be provided to support capacity building activities including integrated flood risk management and assets operation and maintenance.
The estimated project cost is US$127.38 million with US$80 million to be financed by the IBRD Specific Investment Loan and the remainder to come from the local government budget.