WASHINGTON, June 13, 2018 — The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a US$150 million loan to China today to improve flood risk management and reduce water pollution in Hezhou Municipality in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Currently, Hezhou is the only prefecture-level city in Guangxi without a flood control system. The city suffers severe recurrent flooding along the He River and waterlogging in the central urban area. In addition, Hezhou does not have separate drainage systems for storm water and sewage, and treatment facilities are limited. As a result, the city suffers from significant water pollution, especially during heavy storms, when combined sewers overflow and sewage is released to local streets and waterways.
“Globally, cities benefit from integrated approaches to successfully and sustainably reduce urban flooding risks,” said Gang Qin World Bank Senior Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist and leader of the project. “This project will tap into the World Bank’s experience and global knowledge and share international best practices in integrated urban water management to help Hezhou improve its water environment and urban climate resilience."
The Hezhou Urban Water Infrastructure and Environment Improvement Project will reduce flood risks along the He River by connecting main stream to tributaries, improving flood drainage capacity, removing obstructions, and upgrading river infrastructure in the mainstream channel. The project will also reduce water pollution by separating wastewater from storm water and providing full collection and treatment of wastewater, through the construction of a new sewage treatment plant and associated facilities.
In addition, support will be provided to strengthen the coordination of water planning and management among relevant line departments, as well as to training of local officials, and the development of smart water and flood monitoring systems.
The total investment is US$359.35 million, with US$150 million from World Bank financing and US$209.35 million supported by the central and local governments and bonds. To be implemented over a six-year period, the project will directly benefit more than 100,000 people, who will be better protected from environmental and public health risks. The project will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1,697 tons of CO2-equivalents a year through new and improved wastewater collection and treatment facilities.