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NEWS

Uzbekistan, World Bank Discuss Water Supply, Sanitation

8 November 2012

http://www.ooskanews.com  of 11/8/2012 - A delegation headed by World Bank Senior Water and Sanitation Specialist Pier Francesco Mantovani traveled to Uzbekistan in early November to discuss possibilities for improving water supply and wastewater networks in the Central Asian country.

Members of the mission met with representatives of the Tashkent-based Center for Economic Research for talks on water and wastewater supply, urban development and cooperation in the area of disaster risk management. 

The visit came as Uzbekistan was waiting for World Bank approval for $82 million USD in funding for the $113.5 million USD Alat and Karakul Water Supply project. Mantovani is team leader for the project, which aims to improve coverage, quality and efficiency of public water supply services in the Alat and Karakul districts of Bukhara province.

The bank's Board of Directors has not yet given approval for the project; it was expected to do so last week.

Mantovani previously served as team leader on the $62.33 million USD Bukhara and Samarkand Water Supply project, which was completed in 2010. The World Bank allocated $40 million USD and the government of Switzerland $9 million USD for the project.

The UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) Tashkent office and the Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan organized a seminar on sustainable water supply during the World Bank delegation's visit.

Participants examined freshwater supply for urban communities, protection of springs and other freshwater sources, and promotion and introduction of technical innovations, among other issues, during the seminar.

They said existingregulatory and legal frameworks must be studied to determine specific approaches for freshwater supply in cities and other communities.

The seminar recommended establishing information an exchange system between the Uzbek government and local authorities, businesses and NGOs.

It also offered suggestions on amendments to the country's current legislation concerning water use.