ADB, Japan to help promote sustainable surface water use for Dhaka

November 25, 2015 OPINION/NEWS

By

Sheuli Akter

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Bangladesh have signed a letter of agreement for $1,000,000 in grant technical assistance (TA) to promote the sustainable use of surface water for Dhaka city.

According to a statement of the Manila-based lender, the Government of Japan is financing the TA through the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR). The ADB will administer the fund and provide technical support for project implementation. Mitsutake Numahata, Counsellor, Embassy of Japan in Dhaka was present at the signing ceremony held on Thursday in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka.

“Securing adequate amount and good quality surface water is vital for Dhaka’s development, as the groundwater table is falling rapidly,” stated Country Director Kazuhiko Higuchi.

“The assistance will strengthen the government’s capacity to monitor and maintain the water quality of Meghna River, which is identified as one of the major surface water sources for Dhaka.”

The TA will help strengthen the monitoring and reporting system in the relevant section of Meghna River where the water intake sites are proposed. It will also introduce a pilot incentive or reward system for pollution control and assist the government in identifying areas to be designated as ‘ecologically critical’ to restrict development activities. Government officials and other stakeholders will be equipped with knowledge and skills to operationalize the monitoring and reporting system. Public awareness programs under the TA are expected to raise appreciation of the need to maintain water quality of the Meghna River and encourage pollution-prevention activities by the public as well as industries.

The TA will be implemented from November 2015 to October 2017. The Department of Environment will be the executing agency and DWASA will be the partner agency.

ADB has been supporting the Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (DWASA) in providing more reliable and improved water supply services in Dhaka through two projects: Dhaka Water Supply Sector Development Program (loan of $200 million) and Dhaka Environmentally Sustainable Water Supply Project (loan of $250 million). The support includes developing a new surface water supply scheme including the development of a water intake at Meghna River, a raw water transmission pipeline, a water treatment plant at Gandharbpur with capacity of 500 million liters per day, and a treated water transmission pipeline to the existing water supply network. These projects are also improving distribution network to reduce non-revenue water.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. In 2014, ADB assistance totalled $22.9 billion, including co-financing of $9.2 billion.

 

 

 

 

 

sheuly akter_1688

Sheuli Akter

Sheuli Akter, from Bangladesh, is a Special Correspondent and Editor of NsNewsWire, (Bangladesh’s First Press Newswire). She also gained an honourable mention in the first ever World Media Summit WMS Awards for ‘Exemplary News Professionals in Developing Countries’, receiving the award in Beijing in January 2015.

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