July 14: The World Bank has agreed to provide a concessional loan of US$80 million (approximately Rs 10 billion) to the Government of Nepal for water supply management.
The World Bank issued a statement on Wednesday confirming that it signed an agreement with Government of Nepal in this regard. According to the World Bank, the concessional loan will be utilized for a project to improve the delivery of water and sanitation services and to promote integrated water resources management in selected areas of the country.
Finance Secretary Madhu Kumar Marasini and the World Bank's Country Director for the Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, Faris Hadad-Zervos, signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organisations.
“Our overarching priorities are guided by the objective of achieving sustainable and inclusive growth in alignment with federalism principles enshrined in the Constitution of Nepal. The project will support the provision of much-needed water supply and sanitation services to underserved and vulnerable communities, ensure better water sector coordination, and promote higher water quality and service standards,” the statement quoted Finance Secretary Marasini as saying.
According to the World Bank, the Water Sector Governance and Infrastructure Support Project will be implemented in strategic towns and rural municipalities in Karnali and Sudurpashchim provinces where there is low access to water supply and sanitation services, a higher incidence of poverty, and are vulnerable to climate change.
“This project will help strengthen the delivery of water and sanitation services at the local level by building the capacity of municipalities, while at the same time addressing critical gaps in water and sanitation infrastructure to support Nepal’s economic progress and a green, resilient, and inclusive development,” said World Bank's Country Director for the Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, Faris Hadad-Zervos.
The project will help the local governments develop viable institutions to deliver water supply and sanitation services sustainably and efficiently, the statement added.
According to the World Bank, the project will also strengthen the accountability of the sector to customers by building the monitoring and regulatory capacity of provincial and federal government agencies in the sector.
"These will be complemented by investments in construction and rehabilitation of vital water supply and sanitation infrastructure, as well as water-quality surveillance facilities and monitoring systems."