Ulaanbaatar, June 18, 2015 — Representatives from municipality, districts and government ministries, as well as CSOs and development organizations gathered today to participate in a Roundtable discussion on improving sanitation in Ulaanbaatar city’s ger areas.
The roundtable was organized by the Capital City Governor’s Office and the World Bank around a World Bank-supported report entitled Improving Sanitation in the Ger Areas of Ulaanbaatar City to discuss potential areas of support to the Government of Mongolia to implement the report’s recommendation: to invest in on-site sanitation in ger areas.
Ulaanbaatar is the coldest capital city in the world, with a sub-arctic continental climate. The intense cold has a number of effects on sanitation systems, affecting a large proportion of the ger area population. More than 98 percent of the residents of these areas have access to sanitation facilities, but about 95 percent of these facilities are basic pit latrines. As such, residents have ranked sanitation third among the public services that should be improved, after electricity and water supply.
Improved sanitation can improve health and the environment and produce economic benefits from increased tourism. Improved sanitation in the ger areas will reduce health risks for the entire city.
The report and roundtable discussion focus on how to support significant upgrades to improve the quality of life for all ger area households. The report complements the City of Ulaanbaatar’s Ger Area Redevelopment Plan by addressing sanitation for households that will not be connected to sewer networks in the near future.
“We hope the analysis and recommendations in this new report will help the Government of Mongolia in their efforts to improve sanitation in ger areas of Ulaanbaatar city,” said James Anderson, World Bank Country Manager for Mongolia.
The results of the study in Ulaanbaatar will inform further reports, including a Catalog of Technical Options for Sanitation in Cold Regions and a synthesis report summarizing potential options for sanitation improvement in cold regions worldwide.
The World Bank currently supervises a portfolio of approximately US$22 billion in lending through 181 projects and about 200 reports and studies in the water and sanitation sector. In the last three years World Bank activities helped provide access for over 36 million people to improved water supply, and 10 million people to improved sanitation services. The World Bank Group commitments to developing countries towards sustainable water and sanitation solutions stand to reach an average of 30 million people each year.