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Support For Dhaka Water Network Improvements

DHAKA, Bangladesh

Bangladesh capital city Dhaka's water and sewage system is to benefit from development bank and government investment to improve supply and sanitation for an underserved, fast growing poulation.

The World Bank (WB) and the Asian Infrastructure Development Bank (AIIB) have approved financing of $170 Million USD each for Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (DWASA). The funding, confirmed 20 March, will support additional investment from the government of Bangladesh of $143 Million USD.

The existing 881 km sewer system is no longer able to serve the growing population of the city and untreated domestic sewage and industrial effluent are illegally discharged into rivers and canals. The antiquated, damaged and clogged sewer collection and transmission network currently operates at about 25 percent of its capacity which is well below standards set by the country's Department of the Environment.

Funds will be applied to reconstruct two major pipelines, expand network capacity, provide about 50,000 new household connections, and build a new wastewater treatment plant. The financing will also allocate funds to improve commercial management and information systems for sanitation and introduce an IT-based customer complaints management system. Training for all aspects of operations will also be included. A pilot program to install toilets and community septic systems in hard-to-access but densely populated areas is included in the support

“By reducing the volume of untreated wastewater and fecal sludge into drainage canals and water bodies, the project will decrease the risk of inland floods and thus lessen the risks of water contamination,” said Arif Ahamed, World Bank Team Leader for the Dhaka Sanitation Improvement Project.

DJ Pandian, the AIIB’s vice president of investment operations, commented: “The AIIB is committed to ensuring that its projects improve quality of life for the most vulnerable communities. This project is expected to directly contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, which is to ensure access to water and sanitation for all.