The World Bank has approved a loan of US$100 million to help improve water supply and wastewater management in a major urban area of Anhui Province.
The Bengbu integrated environment improvement project will focus on enhancing water management in the middle and lower reaches of the Huaihe River Basin.
The city of Bengbu - with a population of around 3.5 million - faces frequent flooding and industrial pollution, inadequate wastewater collection and treatment, and an unreliable water supply.
"The project provides a package of activities that support the local government's efforts to address these difficult challenges," said project leader Wang Shenhua, a senior infrastructure specialist at the World Bank.
Specifically, the project will assist Bengbu to adopt a comprehensive water resources management approach through flood control, storm drainage, water supply, wastewater collection and environmental monitoring. It will also help initiate institutional reforms in its water sector.
To address industrial pollution, the project will introduce professional management services and load-based charges for industrial wastewater in a pilot industrial park. The aim is to replicate these approaches more widely if the model clicks, the multilateral agency said.
Efforts will be made to enhance cooperation between administrative districts and counties of Bengbu to optimize water infrastructure, it said.
The project covers Bengbu city proper and three satellite counties: Guzhen, Huaiyuan and Wuhe.
(China Daily March 13, 2008)