ADB to help improve rural water supply, sanitation in Kyrgyz Republic

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $27.4 million (S$37.4 million) financing package to provide safe and reliable water supply and sanitation services to more than 64,000 people living in a mountainous rural area of the Kyrgyz Republic.

The programme supports the government’s national goal of increasing access to safe water supplies from current levels of 40 per cent to 90 per cent, and for sanitation services from 10 per cent to 70 per cent, by 2026.

ADB’s assistance, comprised of a $13.7 million (S$18.7 million) results-based loan and a $13.7 million (S$18.7 million) grant from the Asian Development Fund, will improve water supply and sanitation infrastructure and facilities in the province of Naryn, where 29 per cent of the population was living below the poverty line in 2017.

“Access to safe and reliable water supply and sanitation services is a basic human right and integral to the growth and development prospects of a developing country like the Kyrgyz Republic,” said ADB Senior Urban Development Specialist for Central and West Asia Mr. Jude Kohlhase. “We are committed to helping the people of the Kyrgyz Republic, especially in the province of Naryn, lead healthier and more productive lives.”

Access to safe drinking water and sanitation services in the Kyrgyz Republic’s rural areas remain minimal. Most of the country’s water supply and sanitation infrastructure is outdated, while poor water quality and sanitation costs the country over $100 million (S$136.3 million) annually. Only about a quarter of rural households had piped water connections in 2014, while about 73 per cent suffered from intermittent water supply. Only 10 per cent of rural households have access to sanitation facilities.

The Naryn Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Development Programme will include safe water sources, water storage, and treatment and disinfection systems; distribution networks for all 31 programme villages; and gender-sensitive safe water and sanitation facilities in selected education and health facilities. The programme will also pilot non-networked household sanitation solutions for remote areas.

The programme will likewise strengthen institutional capacity of utility providers for better service delivery such as better financial management, while introducing gender-specific measures in their operations, including ensuring at least 20 per cent female employment.

The total cost of the programme is $32.9 million (S$44.8 million) with the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic contributing $5.5 million (S$7.5 million) in financing. ADB is also providing a $225,000 (S$306,720) technical assistance grant for the programme, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2026. ADB will also provide an additional $2.5 million (S$3.4 million) grant from a small expenditure financing facility to support programme implementation, including verification of the programme results.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion (29.4 billion). Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members — 49 from the region.