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WB to loan $100m for Karachi’s water supply, sanitation projects
A World Bank team will start appraising the project submitted by the Sindh government later this month while the executive board of the bank is expected to approve the project by end of June, it’s learnt.
The World Bank is expected to approve a loan of $100 million
that will improve access to safe water and sanitation services in Karachi,
and increase financial and operational performance of the Karachi Water and
Sewerage Board (KWSB).
Karachi's Water Supply services are falling
The proposed project seeks to increase equitable and
sustainable access to safe water and sanitation services in Karachi, and
will address the challenges of infrastructure gaps, operational
under-performance of the KWSB and the weak enabling environment.
In the past the KWSB has successfully implemented many water supply projects, including those supported by the World Bank. However, the institutional capacity of the the KWSB to satisfactorily manage environmental and social safeguards, in accordance with WB requirements, is still considered insufficient, the World Bank says.
A World Bank team is expected to appraise the project submitted by the Sindh government later this month
The KWSB’s technical challenges are exacerbated by its low operational performance. Lack of metering of domestic customers, an inefficient tariff structure, an outdated database to calculate tariffs, and poor billing and collection efficiency have led to a large gap between receipts and expenditures. In 2015-16, total receipts covered barely 50 per cent of the utility’s operational expenditures.
A conservative estimate of non-revenue water from physical and commercial losses is around 55 to 60 per cent.
The utility has outstanding arrears estimated at $460m, outstanding debts to Karachi Electric alone of $320m, and financial losses estimated at over $5m per month.
Given these financial pressures, the KWSB has not been able to carry out preventative maintenance, focusing only on emergency repairs.
Nearly three million Karachiites lack access to piped water, but even those formally connected are confronted with inadequate, irregular and inequitable water services.
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India's River Diversion Plan and South Asia's Waters
More dams are to come, as India’s need to power its economy means it is quietly spending billions on hydropower in Kashmir. The Senate report totted up 33 hydro projects in the border area with Pakistan. The state’s chief minister, Omar Abdullah, says dams will add an extra 3,000MW to the grid in the next eight years alone. Some analysts in Srinagar talk of over 60 dam projects, large and small, now on the books. (This special report has appeared in the Bulletin on Current Affairs - February 2012, you may have to Buy the print edition to read full story)
More in the Edition:
South Asia's Water - a growing rivalry
Indian, Pakistani & Chinese Border Disputes
India's River Diversion Plan: Its impact on Bangladesh
Water Crisis can Trigger nuclear war in South Asia
Reclaimed Water - the Western Experience
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