EBRD, European Union and World Bank support water services in Talas, Kyrgyz Republic

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo
@pyrkalo

Talas is a city in the north of the Kyrgyz Republic, close to the Kazakh border, with a population of over 45,000. One of the biggest priorities for the citizens is clean drinking water and rehabilitation of wastewater management. Currently the water losses are huge and supply intermittent. The wastewater system has collapsed and untreated wastewater forms pools in the basement of apartment buildings, with endemic water borne disease as a result.

Now three international organisations are putting together a financing package for a radical modernisation of the city’s water and wastewater services. The EBRD is providing a loan of up to €2 million. The EU’s Investment Facility for Central Asia is providing a capital grant of €1.85 million, which is the first allocation to the Kyrgyz Republic under the facility. And the World Bank Global Environmental Facility’s Special Climate Change Fund is providing a capital grant of US$ 1.5 million (€1.15 million). In addition the local municipal water company will also receive technical cooperation funding from the Czech Republic, Finland, and the EU.

“As do many other areas in Central Asia, Talas has abundant sources of water. Its challenge is to ensure that clean and safe water reaches people and to restore wastewater management. The project we are supporting is going to greatly improve people’s lives”, said Larisa Manastirli, Head of the EBRD Bishkek Resident Office.

“These investments are very important for the Talas city and will have very positive effect on social and economic development of our population”, said the Mayor of Talas city, Anarbek Kushubekov.

The modernisation of water and wastewater services in Kyrgyz cities is a priority for the EBRD, which has developed a dedicated financing facility for the purpose. At present the EBRD has provided financing to six cities in the country to support critical investments in the water supply and waste water networks and is considering further expansion throughout the country to smaller cities.