EBRD and EU help clean up Bishkek

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo

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EBRD and EU help clean up Bishkek

Today the city of Bishkek has taken delivery of 420 new waste containers, the first assets acquired under the Bishkek Solid Waste project to modernise solid waste management, forming part of a comprehensive environmental improvement programme for the Kyrgyz capital.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has supported the Bishkek solid waste management programme with a loan of €11 million, while the European Union’s (EU) Investment Facility for Central Asia has provided a €8 million grant. This investment aims to upgrade waste services in the city and produce significant environmental and public health benefits.

An official ceremony today marked the handover of the first waste containers to the city’s municipal solid waste company, Tazalyk. Local citizens turned out to watch the event which was attended by local government representatives including Kubanychbek Kulmatov, Mayor of Bishkek; Cesare De Montis, the EU Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic; and EBRD representatives including Natalia Khanjenkova, EBRD Managing Director for Turkey and Central Asia, Masaru Honma, EBRD Director for Central Asia, and Larisa Manastirli, Head of the EBRD’s Resident Office in Bishkek.

The population of the Kyrgyz capital has doubled in the last two decades to an estimated 1.2 million residents, with approximately one quarter of them living on the city’s outskirts in new and frequently unofficial settlements. This population growth, combined with higher living standards and increased consumption, has led to a rapid increase in solid waste volumes.

This EBRD and EU-supported project will help the City and Tazalyk to improve waste collection and replace outdated equipment. It will also lead to the establishment of a new and urgently-needed sanitary landfill and the introduction of a solid waste sorting line and waste minimisation measures in the city.

“This is the first step in the programme of significant improvements to municipal services that will change people’s daily lives in Bishkek for the better and make the city more attractive and more environmentally friendly,” said Larisa Manastirli. “We are very happy that citizens are beginning to see these improvements which were the result of a close collaboration with colleagues from the Bishkek Mayor’s Office. We expect the project to have an important demonstration effect on how to introduce better waste management – not only in the Kyrgyz Republic, but more widely in Central Asia.”

Bishkek’s Mayor, Mr Kulmatov, stressed the importance of such projects in the capital city and that their implementation and development is a joint effort with the EU, which has a long tradition of applying clear and effective environmental measures.

The EBRD is the largest financial investor in the private sector in the Kyrgyz Republic. The EBRD also invests in supporting the country’s infrastructure including water, waste water, solid waste management, local public transport and road rehabilitation.

The EU is one of the largest donors providing grant resources to the EBRD to manage programmes and projects that directly benefit people across the Kyrgyz Republic.

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