EBRD and EU help improve water services in Tajikistan

By Anton Usov

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Over 100,000 inhabitants of Tajikistan’s fourth-largest city, Kulob, will receive access to an improved water supply and water treatment services following major upgrades financially supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union (EU).

An EBRD sovereign loan of up to €7.5 million is being extended to the state enterprise for Kulob water and wastewater services (KMK), which will rehabilitate the key water supply and wastewater infrastructure in the city. The funds will be used to upgrade the network including water mains, intakes and pumping stations. They will also help modernise KMK’s wastewater treatment plant, the wastewater network and facilitate the procurement and installation of water meters.

It is expected that upon implementation the city of Kulob will be able to reduce its water losses by up to 35 per cent.

The project is expected to receive grant support from EU’s Investment Facility for Central Asia (IFCA) in the amount of €7.5 million to co-finance capital expenditures. The project will also benefit from technical assistance package of €1.25 million, approved by IFCA and EBRD’s Shareholder Special Fund, to finance project implementation support and corporate development programme, which will include creation of a Kulob regional water company and the implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards.

The water infrastructure in Kulob, a 2000-year-old city and once an important stop on the Silk Road, requires urgent investments. Regular access to safe drinking water and timely water treatment are particularly important for the city’s sustainable development under the Covid-19 pandemic and for hygiene and health reasons.

To date, the EBRD has invested €731 million through 139 projects in Tajikistan’s economy.

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