The World Bank approved a $149 million loan to Bangladesh to improve water supply and sanitation services in Dhaka. Dhaka is one of the fastest growing mega cities in the world, and its population is expected to reach nearly 22 million by 2025, up from 12 million at present.
Rapid population growth is putting serious strain on the city’s ability to provide basic water, sanitation and drainage services to its citizens. Delivery of these services throughout Dhaka is inadequate and uneven, but is particularly poor in slum areas.
“Poor water supply, sanitation, and drainage services hurt the poorest citizens the most,” Xian Zhu, country director of the World Bank for Bangladesh, said on Wednesday.
Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (DWASA), which has the sole responsibility of providing water supplies in the city, is able to meet the demands of only 70% of the population of the Dhaka Metropolitan Area and its suburbs.
There are no piped distribution networks available in slum areas, where approximately 4 million people live. The project will help DWASA bring water and sanitation services to about 305,000 poor people living in slums, the bank said.
The loan from the International Development Association, the World Bank’s concessionary arm, has 40 years to maturity with a 10-year grace period and carries a service charge of 0.75%. (Reuters)