DUSHANBE, December 21, Asia-Plus -- On Tuesday December 19,   the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors endorsed a US$ 5 million credit and grant as additional financing for the Dushanbe Water Supply Project for Tajikistan.

According to the WB Dushanbe Office, the additional financing will support five components.  The first component involves the purchase and installation of sodium hypo-chlorine equipment for the disinfection of raw water.  The second component involves the rehabilitation of rapid sand filters at the Napornaya Water Treatment Plant, one of the water intake sources for Dushanbe.  The third component involves the procurement of equipment and booster stations, to reduce intermittent water supply to city residents.  The fourth component will support technical assistance to the Dushanbe Vodokanal (Dushanbe’s municipal waterworks or DVK) to improve its institutional and technical capacity. Finally, the fifth component will support project management, by financing operating costs of the Project Management Unit.  The project will be implemented by the DVK.

The project implementation period is one and half years, commencing in February 2007. As a result of the additional financing, the water supply quality and reliability are expected to improve, particularly to poorer neighborhoods of the city, thus resulting in a higher level of customer satisfaction with the delivery of water services.

 The original World Bank credit of US$17 million for the Dushanbe Water Supply Project was approved in 2002 to support the first step of a program of improving water supply services in the city of Dushanbe.  The repair and rehabilitation activities under the project have already resulted in service improvement in some parts of the city, and increased the availability of clean and safe water.  These improvements included rehabilitation and upgrading of water sources at three intakes around the city.  At the time, it was recognized that full rehabilitation of the Dushanbe water supply system would be a long and costly process, requiring a phased approach. 

The World Bank’s mission in Tajikistan is to promote economic growth, reduce poverty, and encourage a better quality of life.  The World Bank plays a role as the catalyst of change and an institution bringing global experience to developing countries.  The financial assistance committed to Tajikistan so far amounts to nearly US$420 million, in the form of grants and concessional credits.  To date, the Bank has supported projects and carried out non-lending activities aimed at agriculture and rural development, health, education, social security, energy, water resources, infrastructure rehabilitation, and disaster management, among other things. World Bank assistance, in the form of soft loans, has helped the country rebuild the infrastructure destroyed during the civil war and has supported economic reforms.