EBRD supports better water services in Aktobe, Kazakhstan

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo
@pyrkalo

 EBRD supports better water services in Aktobe, Kazakhstan

Another city to renovate water and wastewater services under a joint EBRD-government initiative
 
The EBRD and the government of Kazakhstan are continuing cooperation on a wide-scale programme to modernise public services in the country.
 
The Bank will lend up to 2 billion tenge (€10 million equivalent) to the city of Aktobe’s municipal water and wastewater company, Akbulak, to be used for modernising the water and wastewater services in the city.
 
The company will also receive a capital grant of up to 1.4 billion tenge (€6.7 million) from the state budget and co-financing of up to 350 million tenge (€1.7 million) from the local regional government (Akimat).
 
The capital grant will be provided under the Enhanced Partnership Agreement between the EBRD and the government of Kazakhstan, signed in May 2014, which sets out a programme of joint investment of EBRD and government funds into projects that improve people’s lives. Technical assistance is also expected to be funded by the government of Kazakhstan under the Enhanced Partnership.
 
EBRD President, Sir Suma Chakrabarti, said while signing the project during his visit to Astana: “Aktobe and Shymkent are the first two cities in Kazakhstan where we will be working together with the government and the local authorities under the Enhanced Partnership to improve the quality of water and related services. I am happy that our work improves people’s lives directly. We look forward to supporting water projects in other regions of Kazakhstan.”
 
Arkhimed Mukhambetov, Akim of Aktobe Oblast, said: “The implementation of this project will allow to increase the quality of water supply and wastewater management services in the city, reduce water losses and network deterioration, and help introduce energy saving practices and procedures into the municipal company's operations. I am grateful to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for the fruitful cooperation".
 
In addition to improvements in the quality of water and wastewater services in Aktobe, the municipal company Akbulak will also increase efficiency and reduce water losses. The company will introduce a Public Service Contract which will help boost operational efficiency.
 
The EBRD and Kazakhstan are working on several other joint projects under the Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Modernisation Framework under the Enhanced Partnership umbrella. 
 
Since the beginning of its operations in Kazakhstan 22 years ago, the EBRD has invested over US$ 7 billion in the country’s economy.