World Bank okays $450m in loans for City sanitation

The World Bank on Tuesday approved US$450 million in loans and credits to Viet Nam for the second HCM City Environmental Sanitation Project to treat wastewater, strengthen institutional capacity to manage sanitation and wastewater, and increase public awareness of the benefits of improved sanitation.

A part of the Thu Duc Water Plant in HCM City. The World Bank approved $450 million in loans and credits for the second HCM City Environmental Sanitation Project. — VNA/VNS Photo Van Khanh

HCM City is emerging as a major city in Southeast Asia and is a hub of economic activities in Viet Nam, accounting for around 20 per cent of the country's GDP.

To maintain its competitive position and provide quality services to its citizens, the city plans to develop its water-related infrastructure to improve supply of drinking water for a growing population, protect the city from floods, and improve the environment and reduce health risks by collecting and treating wastewater.

"Through this new project, the city will be able to address its sanitation challenges in a more cost effective manner and create a city that is clean and competitive," Victoria Kwakwa, World Bank Country Director for Viet Nam, said.

"Improved urban sanitation services benefit all citizens, especially the poor. This project will ensure that the poor in the project areas are well served by having household connections to the sewer network."

The project will benefit around 1.1 million people in the city and include a plant to treat wastewater collected in the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Basin and from parts of District 2.

It will treat untreated wastewater that is currently being discharged into the Sai Gon River.

Through the project, sewer networks and house connections to the network will be installed in parts of District 2. The project will also provide technical assistance to improve sanitation and wastewater management.

"The project promotes better sanitation practices in HCM City and also supports the urban development of the city through improved wastewater management," Sudipto Sarkar, World Bank Lead Specialist and task team leader, said.

"Under the project an Environmental Learning Centre will be created to raise awareness of sanitation issues and the environment that will benefit the people of HCM City."

The total project cost is $495 million, of which $250 million will be come from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and $200 million through the International Development Association.

HCM City will bring in $45 million from its own resources.


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