The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has given its approval to provide a loan of $145m to improve water supply and sanitation services in the Republic of Karakalpakstan (RK), an autonomous republic in northwestern Uzbekistan.

The total cost of the project is expected to be $172.3m, with the Government of Uzbekistan providing $27.3m. The project is expected to be completed by July 2024.

Spanning more than 165,000 km2 and home to about 1.8 million people, the RK Uzbekistan is regularly prone to water supply issues.

With this project, about 388,000 residents in the region are expected to get benefitted.

Presently, only 37% of the population in the region is connected to the centralized water supply system, while 40% of the connected households receive water for less than 6 hours per week. The quality of water being supplied is also of the concern.

With the loan, upgradation and expansion of water supply networks in RK will take place. The project is also expected to improve awareness about climate change and resilience of people in the region, while building institutional capacity of the relevant authorities and can strengthen the region’s water sustainability and sanitation.

The project will specifically support the construction, rehabilitation, and expansion of three water treatment plants, construction and rehabilitation of about 300 km of water mains, construction and rehabilitation of 28 water distribution centers, construction and rehabilitation of about 900 km in the water distribution network and the provision of consumer meters.

In capacity strengthening, the project will help in formulating performance indicator-based reporting, establishing a training center, operationalize non-revenue water control system, geographic information system and hydraulic modeling, and introducing web-based management and reporting systems.

ADB Central and West Asia Principal Urban Development Specialist Hao Zhang said “Improving water supply conditions is critical in RK.

“Upgrading water supply and sanitation services will help people in the area live better lives, especially for 178,000 women and girls who will have access to continuous potable centralized water supply.”