The World Bank, through its International Development Association, has agreed to provide $239m loan for the Water Services and Institutional Support project in Uzbekistan.

The water services and sanitation (WSS) infrastructure of Uzbekistan was mostly constructed during the Soviet period and they need rehabilitation and renewal.

World Bank said that the replacement of the assets, maintenance, and system expansion were not made with the growing population needs and have resulted in stagnation and decline in the quality of WSS services in many areas.

The project is expected to improve the sewerage collection and treatment infrastructure in the towns of Nukus, Takhiatash, and Khodjeyli, in the Republic of Karakalpakstan.

World Bank Uzbekistan country manager Hideki Mori said: “By completion of this project, over 500,000 people in three regions of Uzbekistan will benefit from better water supply and sanitation services.”

Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs will provide $7.8m funding for the project

The project will also provide funding for the development and reconstruction of WSS systems in the Syrdarya region and Kattakurgan town of Samarkand region.

The project aims to reduce energy and water losses in Uzbekistan by building an energy efficiency financing facility and metering programmes.

The metering programmes will to be made accessible to local water utilities.

Additionally, $7.8m funding will be provided by Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs to enhance the planning and regulatory capacity of WSS utilities in Uzbekistan.

Recently, the World Bank has agreed to provide $450m loan to India’s government to support a national programme to arrest depleting groundwater levels and to strengthen groundwater institutions.