The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $150m loan for a project which intends to restore degraded ecosystems and enhance water resource management in Qihe River Basin in China.


The project area includes counties, districts, towns and townships in the northern Henan province.

A large section of the river passes via Hebi City.

Apart from the ADB’s loan, Hebi city, district and county governments are contributing $175.4m for the project.

Due to deforestation, overgrazing by livestock in watersheds, increased levels of pollution and over-extraction of water have led to the emergence of drought.

They have also increased the likeliness of serious flooding in the region. Apart from these issues, wastewater and sewage being flown in the Qihe River and its canals have highly polluted the region.

The project will address the challenges through structural and non-structural measures including reforestation of about 1300 hectares of denuded hills in the upper part of the basin and restoration of wetland habitats along with establishing pilot national wetland park in the riverbank region.

Restoration and rehabilitation of Qi county canals in the district and strengthening of wastewater and solid waste management facilities will be also taken up, under the project.

The project will also design flood protection structures with flood warning system being installed.

ADB senior natural resources and agricultural specialist Alvin Lopez said: "The project will adopt an integrated and holistic approach to ecosystem and water management with broad and powerful benefits both for the environment itself and the communities who reside in and around the basin.

"It will also demonstrate ‘best practices’ for water resource management, and will have the potential to be scaled up and replicated in other parts of the People’s Republic of China."

With a running date of 5 years, the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

Image: ADB approves loan to restore Qihe River Basin in China. Photo: Courtesy of Asian Development Bank.