China: Improving Flood Protection for 1.3 Million People in Ma’anshan

June 4, 2013

WASHINGTON, June 4, 2013 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a loan of US$100 million to the People’s Republic of China to improve flood protection for 1.3 million people living in the urban areas of Ma’anshan City in Anhui Province.

Located in the Yangtze Delta, Ma'anshan City is one of China’s 20 fastest-growing cities. The Cihu River, a tributary of the Yangtze, flows through the city. As a result of rapid urbanization and city expansion, Ma'anshan City is facing several challenges including: (a) decreasing level of protection against flooding due to weakened embankments; (b) frequent inundation in urban areas due to reduced capacity of the Cihu river and its tributaries to drain storm water; (c) inadequately designed urban storm drainage systems; (d) poor water quality in canals and tributaries of Cihu River caused by untreated wastewater and solid waste; and (e) siltation and water pollution in the Cihu River arising from mining activities in the upper reaches of the Cihu River.

“Through this new project, we are working with the Ma’anshan City Government to strengthen its abilities to protect people from the risk of urban flooding by bringing global best practice and innovation in the design and engineering of storm drainage systems and environmental monitoring,” said World Bank Senior Urban Specialist Meskerem Brhane. “China is among the world's most flood-prone countries. Climate change is likely to increase the frequency of storms and floods. So experience gained from this project can also provide lessons for other Chinese cities vulnerable to floods.”

Based on the Municipal Urban Development Master Plan and the Cihu River Basin Ecological Environmental Integrated Rehabilitation Program, the Ma'anshan Cihu River Basin Improvement Project will include rehabilitation works along the Cihu River including slope protection, embankment strengthening, construction and rehabilitation of flood control structures, pumping stations and service roads, ecological rehabilitation and greening. It will also restore the natural storm drainage function of tributaries and canals, develop a watershed scale water quality monitoring program, and compile an environmental protection reference document setting forth prevention and mitigation measures for future contamination of water from mining activities and ecological restoration of mined lands.

The total project cost is estimated to be US$210.35 million, with the IBRD loan of US$100 million to finance 47 percent and the counterpart financing coming from the municipal budget.

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