WASHINGTON, June 23, 2017—The World Bank today approved $47.50 million to improve water, sanitation, and drainage infrastructure in Chittagong, with the aim of helping about 650,000 inhabitants of Bangladesh’s second largest city gain access to safe and reliable water.
This additional financing to the Chittagong Water Supply Improvement and Sanitation Project will help the Chittagong Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (CWASA) continue to build water treatment plant, transmission and distribution networks and improve water distribution infrastructure, as well as prepare sanitation and drainage master plans for the city.
“Only about half of the people in the Chittagong metropolitan area can access piped water and inadequate sewerage and drainage infrastructure adds to the city’s water-logging problem,” said Qimiao Fan, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal. “To meet increasing demand, the World Bank is committed to helping expand and improve the supply of safe water, sanitation and drainage services in the city. This helps everyone, including marginalized slum dwellers.”
The project will construct the Modunaghat Water Treatment Plant and Patenga Booster Pumping Station, as well as a major water transmission system from Kalurghat to the Patenga Booster Pumping Station to expand production capacity and improve distribution. The new financing will help 27,000 homes access reliable water supply, by installing 10,000 new piped household connections and rehabilitating 17,000 existing connections.
“Between 1990 and 2015, a further 65 million people in Bangladesh gained access to safe water. Yet less than a third of the urban population has piped water, and the supply is often unreliable and intermittent. Major cities like Chittagong face a growing population but have inadequate water infrastructure and service delivery capacity,” said Soma Ghosh Mollick, World Bank Team Leader for the project. “This project will significantly improve the city’s water, sanitation and drainage services as well as support CWASA’s institutional development.”
To complete the remaining construction work, the project closing date is being extended from December 2018 to March 2020. With this additional financing, World Bank support to the project now stands at $218.50 million.
The credit from the World Bank’s International Development Association, which provides grants or zero-interest loans, has a 38-year term, including a six-year grace period, and a service charge of 0.75 percent.
The World Bank was among the first development partners to support Bangladesh following its independence. Since then the World Bank has committed nearly $26 billion in grants and interest-free credits to the country. In recent years, Bangladesh has been the largest recipient of the World Bank’s interest-free credits.