Osh-Isfana Road Upgrading Project


Kyrgyz Republic

Project number:


Business sector:


Notice type:


Environmental category:


Approval date:

14 Jul 2009



PSD disclosed:

13 May 2009

Project Description

The EBRD is considering a sovereign loan of up to USD 35 million for the rehabilitation and upgrading of the part of Osh–Batken–Isfana road in the South-West of Kyrgyz Republic. Within this corridor, the Bank will focus, as the priority for the Government of Kyrgyz Republic, on improvement of the section Burgandy-Batken, between km 155-220 of the Osh-Batken Road. Osh and Batken are provincial capitals.

The works comprise rehabilitation of existing asphalt roads, and completion of already existing gravel roads and earth roads along recently developed alignments. These newer sections have been constructed to avoid sections of the old road not located within the territory of Kyrgyz Republic.

The project responds both to the general need to develop the road network of the Kyrgyz Republic and specifically to the growth of traffic along an important route which provides the only connection between the main Kyrgyz cities in Fergana Valley and the rest of the country.

Transition Impact

The key transition impact objectives for the Project, which will be part of an overall transition programme, include the following:

  • Regulatory and institutional reform including promoting more effective and independent management of the road network;
  • Reform of road user charges and the Road Fund to put road sector financing on a sustainable basis.
  • Open tendering of contracts for rehabilitation, upgrading and new construction, as well as other measures to promote greater private sector involvement in road maintenance.


The Client

Ministry of Transport and Communication of Kyrgyz Republic (“MoTC”) is a direct beneficiary of the project. The established Project Implementation Unit (“PIU”) within the MoTC will be responsible for the preparation and implementation of the project.

EBRD Finance

Sovereign loan of up to USD 35 million.

The Project is expected to be co-financed with the IBRD and the European Union.

Project Cost

The total project cost for the section Osh-Batken including co-financiers amounts to up to aprox. USD 75 million.

Environmental Impact

1. Project description

The Government of the Kyrgyz Republic has requested the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the “Bank” or the “EBRD”) to participate in the financing of parts of its Road Sector Development Strategy which includes the rehabilitation and upgrading of the 358 km long Osh–Batken–Isfana road. The Bank is considering co-financing the project alongside funding from the European Union (“EU”) and the World Bank (“IBRD”) for separate sections of the road. The World Bank-financed sections is expected to total 30 km, the EU are expected to finance 14 km. The Government of the Kyrgyz Republic has embarked on road upgrading works over a length of 93 km and the project will complete the upgrading works on these sections.

The EBRD loan is expected to finance the rehabilitation and upgrading of 60 km of single carriageway road, which includes the construction of a 2km section of road on a new alignment, between Osh and Isfana. Whilst final designs of the road are still to be determined the main design principle is to generally follow the existing road alignment, with the new road surface raised approximately 0.5m above the existing surface (except for any isolated areas where further raising is required for drainage reasons or to improve geometry). The section of the road proposed for EBRD financing would be from km155 – km 220, excluding the section from km 195 to km 200 which covers the Sokh River Bridge and its approaches). The main deviations from the original road alignment in the EBRD section are Km 193-195 (Akturpak) and in two isolated short lengths between Chonkara and Batken). Most of the road to be upgraded with EBRD funding exists either as a partly completed gravel embankment or as an old damaged asphalt surfaced road. The new road will be provided with a new asphalt pavement over its full length.

2. Environmental and social categorisation

The project has been classified as Category B, according to the EBRD’s Environmental Policy (2003), following an Initial Environmental Examination undertaken as part of the World Bank-funded Feasibility Study. The main findings of the preliminary environmental and social due diligence were that the environmental and social impacts resulting from the proposed road construction, rehabilitation and upgrade would not be significant since the majority of the road would follow existing alignment and that the losses of land and buildings are likely to be minor. Whilst the project may result in future environmental and social impacts it would not fall under the project categories covered in Annex 1 of the EBRD Environmental Policy (2003) and as such is classified as Category B.

3. Environmental and social investigations

As part of the World Bank-funded Feasibility Study an Environmental Analysis (“EA”) and a Social Impact Assessment of the Project were undertaken by an independent consultant to ensure that the Osh-Isfana road project is environmentally and socially sound and sustainable as well as structured to meet national and good international environmental standards and the EBRD’s environmental, social and public disclosure and consultation requirements, in accordance with the EBRD’s Environmental Policy (2003).

The objectives of the EA and SIA were to:

  • Identify and determine the potential environmental and social impacts (both positive and negative) associated with the construction of the new sections and the rehabilitation of the existing road;
  • Assist the Government and the lenders (EBRD; IBRD; and EU) to structure the Project so that national and EU environmental and social standards as well as specific World Bank safeguards (natural habitats, involuntary resettlement, cultural property and indigenous people) requirements will be met;
  • Assist the Government and lenders in the development of an Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP) aimed at preventing and mitigating potential adverse environmental and social impacts during the construction and operation of the road.

4. Environmental and social baseline

The EA and SIA established a detailed description of the baseline environmental and social conditions along the length of the project road.

In general, the road traverses plains and rolling terrain through an arid area. The EA report notes that water, wind and pasture erosion are some of the most significant factors affecting the environment in Kyrgystan. In the Osh to Isfana road corridor the main active form is isolated concentrated erosion at existing perennial or frequently running natural rivers and streams and some mudflow activity around km324-337 and minor sheet outwash fan erosion at around km125-175.

The Kyrgyz Republic is characterised by a high level of biodiversity, both flora and fauna. However the living conditions for many species are close to the edge of survival due to many reasons including climate, availability of water, use of pesticides and size of habitat. Due allowance will be made in the design and implementation of the project to accommodate the sensitivity and poor regeneration power of the Kyrgyz environment.

The SIA notes that the south west is the poorest region of the Kyrgyz Republic. The transport links to the rest of the Republic are weak and the intervening portions of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan effectively cut the region off from the rest of the country. The poor state of the roads is having a greater impact on rural communities and people who rely on the roads for delivery of and access to socio-economic services.

5. Potential impacts and mitigation measures

Possible adverse impacts from the construction and operation of the road include air emissions from exhausts, dust generation from vehicles and crusher plants, impacts from use of quarry sites and borrow pits, erosion of soils and gravels, short-term impacts on water quality such as increase in silt loads, hydro-carbon leakage and waste water from construction camps. Minor impacts upon habitats and flora are expected mainly through the clearance of small areas of vegetation at work sites, road-sides, and ancillary areas. Social impacts such as noise and vibration disturbance from construction activities, temporary impacts on local access and traffic, health and safety impacts in terms of the transmission of communicable diseases including HIV/AIDS, contamination of water supplies and traffic and road safety issues, and other social aspects are also possible.

A key direct social impact is any necessary land acquisition, resettlement, loss of assets and compensation. Within the EBRD financed sections the road predominantly follows the existing alignment and new land take is likely to be limited to the new 2 km section only. However the road designs have not yet been finalised and the extent of the resettlement and compensation is not yet known though it is expected to be minor as, where possible, the government intends to avoid any destruction of house or loss of land. A Resettlement and Compensation Framework will be developed in accordance with national and World Bank requirements, ensuring that resettlement impacts are duly mitigated and compensated for.

The EA and SIA reports identify and assess all environmental and social impacts listed above which are common to most roadway projects as well as specific to the proposed Project.

The EA includes detailed Environmental Management and Monitoring Plans, designed to mitigate any adverse impacts, and these plans will be updated once final road design become available. The responsibility for implementation of these plans will be chiefly split between the road constructors and the Project Implementation Unit of the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

The SIA contains recommendations to take proper consideration of social impacts and risks in the project development. Again, once road designs are finalised the recommendations will be incorporated into an action plan which will include a Resettlement and Compensation Framework, with associated timelines, costs, monitoring indicators and allocation of responsibilities for implementation.

6. Monitoring and reporting

Monitoring of the environmental and social performance of the project and the implementation of the Environmental and Social Action Plans will be conducted by the EBRD, and the other lenders, over the full term of the Bank’s loan. The monitoring will include review of annual environmental and social reporting supplied by the PIU and monitoring visits. The EBRD will also require immediate notification of any material incidents or accidents likely to have an effect on the environment or worker and public safety.

Technical Cooperation

  1. Engineering Supervision of Civil Works (USD 1,500,000). Funding to be requested from the ETC Fund.
  2. Consultancy support for project preparation and implementation (EUR 195,000). Funding approved by the ETC Fund.

Business opportunities

For business opportunities or procurement, contact the client company.

For state-sector projects, visit EBRD Procurement: Tel: +44 20 7338 6794
Email: procurement@ebrd.com

General enquiries

EBRD project enquiries not related to procurement:
Tel: +44 20 7338 7168
Email: projectenquiries@ebrd.com

Public Information Policy (PIP)

The PIP sets out how the EBRD discloses information and consults with its stakeholders so as to promote better awareness and understanding of its strategies, policies and operations. Please visit the Public Information Policy page below to find out how to request a Public Sector Board Report.
Text of the PIP

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