The Asian Development Bank is extending a $36 million dollar loan to the Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Project, which will assist the Republic of Armenia with sustainable water supply and sanitation services in seven provinces. This project will cover 16 towns and 125 villages. The total project cost is estimated at $45 million and the government of Armenia will provide the balance. The project is aimed to improve public health and the environment.
“The project will improve public health and the environment for about 576,000 people living in the project towns and villages, about 25% of whom live below the poverty line,” said Shakeel Khan, senior urban development specialist of ADB’s central and west Asia department. “The project will mainly focus on optimizing the operation of existing infrastructure and maximizing the operating efficiency of service providers. This will allow the project to economize the investment, achieve considerable development impacts, and ensure sustainability of the water supply and sewage system with sound technical and financial management.”
In the two components of the project- existing networks of water and sewerage systems will be rehabilitated and core issues and challenges regarding efficient management of water and sewerage systems will be addressed. Armenian Water & Sewerage Co. will be the primary company responsible for the project. Management efficiency will be improved by a combination of technical, financial, legal, and public outreach measures.
Enhancing the delivery of water and sanitation services is the main priority of the government. They wish to improve the living standards of the people, the environment, public health and economic opportunities.
Presently more than 60% of the water supply and sewerage infrastructure in 50 towns and 300 villages is in very poor condition. 50% of the water and sewage networks need major work or replacement, mechanical and electrical equipment has become obsolete, system design and standards have become outdated, sewer pipes are clogged or broken and wastewater treatment facilities are not in full operation. Most people receive water for only two to eight hours a day. Poor sanitation and leaking sewers are creating serious health risks and environmental hazards.
Maintenance of water supply and sewerage systems throughout the country has been neglected since 1991 following the collapse of the Soviet Union.