The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors has approved a loan of US$150 million for water supply and sanitation projects in central China's Henan Province.
The projects would improve water supply and wastewater management in 38 towns under 12 municipalities through the construction of water production facilities, water distribution networks, sewerage systems and treatment facilities, said a statement from the bank.
The projects are among the bank's first group of major projects to support county town efforts to cope with rapid urbanization -- a key development challenge given that around 70 percent of rural-urban migrants over the next decade are expected to settle in towns rather than in big cities, according to the bank.
The projects will address issues of water scarcity and provide technical assistance for institutional development, including regional planning for county town development, water sector regulations, and project management and utility staff training, said the bank. The projects will help improve living conditions and the development of participating county towns with relatively poor economies, it said.
(Xinhua News Agency June 29, 2006)