Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Planning to provide water and sanitation in Asia

Money has been raised to help draw up plans for a major water and sanitation project.

The Asian Development Bank helped to pool together several loans to help fund the project. The total money that will be loaned is 1.5 million dollars.

The money will be used to draw up plans for water and sanitation for an area in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. As the local governments don't have the money to do a big project themselves.

200,000 people in 9 different towns will benefit from the project. The bank believes those towns could become tourism or transportation hubs when the right infrastructure is in place.

Again, this is just for drawing up the plans, I imagine more fund raising will have to be done to actually install the water works.

Here is a snippet from the ADB's press release that details the poor condition of the towns, and some more details about the project.

The towns identified for the planned project have high poverty levels and poor, or even non-existent, water supply and sanitation services. With improved infrastructure, they have the potential to develop into transport and tourism hubs.

The technical assistance will be used to determine the services needed for each town, the appropriate level of user charges, and the financial and technical capacity of participating public utilities and local governments, in order to design a project that is both realistic and sustainable.

At present, many local governments are unable to provide potable water and sanitation services 24 hours a day because of the high investment costs involved. At the same time, consumers face high tariffs that many cannot afford, or are unwilling to pay, making the rollout of new services financially unsustainable.

Major emphasis will also be given to improving sanitation services as few local governments in developing towns consider it a priority. Sanitation plans will be drawn up for each town, identifying cost-effective technologies, investment requirements, implementation and operating needs, and other actions needed to improve sanitation and promote hygiene.

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