The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved additional grant financing of $38 million for a project rehabilitating and expanding climate-resilient water supply and sanitation infrastructure in Dushanbe, Tajikistan; strengthening the institutional capacity of the state water and sewerage utility DushanbeVodokanal; and promoting women’s empowerment in the country.
The grant supplements the $41.18 million grant ADB approved in 2018 for the improvement of water supply and sanitation systems in Tajikistan’s capital.
“The project will complement investments and institutional reforms being implemented by other development partners, and it will improve quality of life, health, urban resilience, and economic growth in Dushanbe,” said ADB Director General for Central and West Asia Yevgeniy Zhukov. “We expect, as a result of the project, that 125,000 people will get 24/7 piped water supply and 500,000 people will benefit from improved sewerage.”
Water supply and sanitation systems in Dushanbe, which has an estimated population of 916,000 people, have deteriorated because of age, lack of capital investment, and inadequate maintenance. The lack of public understanding of water conservation, combined with low tariffs, has led to significant water wastage. Sewerage services are only provided to about 70% of the population in Dushanbe. Anticipated climate impacts—floods, droughts, and heat waves—will aggravate the problems.
The additional financing will expand water supply and sanitation investments in the Shohmansur District, including rehabilitation of additional wells, pumping stations, transmission and distribution networks, installation of smart meters, and rehabilitation and construction of collector sewer and sewerage networks.
“To ensure the sustainability of the investments, the project will implement a corporate business plan for DushanbeVodokanal, improve its operational and financial efficiency, and reduce nonrevenue water,” said ADB Senior Urban Development Specialist for Central and West Asia Massimo Petrone. “The project will also enhance climate mitigation with the use of energy-efficient pumps, and boost climate resilience by reducing water loss and consumption.”
The project will also support women’s empowerment, protection, and skills development. A women’s development center will be established to enhance women’s technical, leadership, and business skills, to support domestic violence survivors and their children, and to improve water, sanitation and hygiene awareness and practice.
Since Tajikistan joined ADB in 1998, the bank has become the country’s largest multilateral development partner with over $2.3 billion in total assistance, including over $1.7 billion in grants. ADB’s 2021–2025 country partnership strategy for Tajikistan focuses on three strategic priorities: structural reforms to enhance resource allocation and mobilization, improving labor productivity through human capital development, and fostering better livelihoods by investing in the land-linked economy.
Source : Smart Water Magazine