Improving water services in the Kyrgyz Republic

Two of the largest cities in the country will secure reliable water supply.

The Kyrgyz Republic faces huge challenges in rebuilding and maintaining the basic infrastructures of its urban areas which have severely deteriorated after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Services once taken for granted, including drinking water supply and wastewater treatment, are now often only intermittently available – if at all – and their steady decline has created serious risks to public health.

In Osh and Jalalabad, the second and third largest cities in the country, the problems range from intermittent supply of water in certain areas, water provided only by stand-pipes in the streets in other areas, a wastewater collection system serving only parts of the cities, to malfunctioning wastewater treatment plants.

Improving water and wastewater systems

To address these issues the EBRD is providing a sovereign loan of up to €3 million for each city. The loans are co-financed by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) with capital grants in the amount of €4.3 million for Osh and €4.1 million for Jalalabad to be used for the modernisation of water and wastewater services.

The projects aim to rehabilitate reliable water supply and reduce water losses by renewing the network and installing bulk and consumer meters, as well as selected wastewater management improvements. This will lead to reduced operating and maintenance costs. In addition, the water companies in Osh and Jalalabad will receive support to increase institutional capacity and to enhance operational and financial sustainability of water supply and wastewater operations.

Further support was provided by donor-funded technical cooperation. A pre-investment feasibility study was financed by the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund (SSF). SECO provided €1.5 million in addition to the capital grants for project implementation support and the EBRD Water Fund provided over €1.3 million to support the water companies’ corporate development, to help in the setting up of a Stakeholder Participation Programme to keep affected communities informed and to set up water analysis laboratories.