The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Government of Switzerland have both agreed to provide a cumulative loan of €8.05m to upgrade a new wastewater treatment plant in the city of Osh, Kyrgyz Republic.

 A €3m sovereign loan has been by the EBRD and Switzerland is providing a €5.05m grant for the project.

The project will be undertaken by Kyrgyz Republic-based municipal water and wastewater operator, Osh Water Company. It will include the upgradation of existing facilities and the installation of new equipment.

The country faces several challenges in terms of rebuilding and maintaining outdate water infrastructure in urban areas. Assets under water supply and wastewater collection are severely deteriorated with limited wastewater treatment.

Due to the deteriorated infrastructure, large parts of the population remain unserved or partially served with high environmental and health risks.

By modernising the wastewater plant, the city of Osh will be able to provide more reliable services, reduce water losses and operating costs and protect the health of citizens and the environment.

Renewal of leaking water pipes, obsolete pumping stations will be taken up as part of the project. Also, new water meters will be installed as pilot. Sewerage network covering only 60% of the city will also be repaired under the project.

The finance for the rehabilitation project in Osh comes under the framework of EBRD worth €20m designed to accelerate investment in Kyrgyz water sector.

Major focus of the project rests on smaller towns and promotes more sustainable services through technical assistance, skill transfer and implementing international standards.

Technical cooperation grants for project design, procurement, contracts, supervision and institutional capacity building services will be provided by Staatssekretariat für Wirtschaft SECO and the donors of EBRD’s Early Transition Countries Fund.

EBRD regional director for Central Asia Neil McKain said: “The EBRD is proud to support the improvement of vital infrastructure in the Kyrgyz Republic. Projects such as this make a real difference for citizens and for the development of the region.”

Switzerland Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Education and Research, Programme Manager Françoise Salamé Guex said: “Switzerland has been providing financial assistance to this project since 2011.

“We expect that our joint support will improve the quality of water and sanitation services for all inhabitants of Osh. This infrastructure improvement underlines our commitment to support the city’s economic prosperity and stability.”

Image: EBRD and Switzerland grant loan to Kyrgyz Republic to upgrade wastewater treatment. Photo: Courtesy of The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development