The World Bank has approved financial assistance of $82m from its International Development Association credit to help improve water supply in two districts of Uzbekistan, and benefit around 220,000 people in the region.
The Alat and Karakul water supply projects are expected to improve water supply coverage, efficiency and quality of water service in Alat and Karakul in the Bukhara region.
In addition, the project works are expected to improve water supply network, strengthen institutional capacity of water suppliers, and improve financial stability in the region.
Both the districts have scarce water supply and lack of proper drinkable water services which force the residents in the region to rely on unsafe water from irrigation channels, saline wells, or buy drinkable water from costly tankers.
In dearth of proper water facilities, economic and human development in the region is crippling and the projects aim is to improve the conditions.
The project work will also include repairing the existing water infrastructure and installing new supply networks that will supply water to previously uncovered areas.
World Bank Uzbekistan country manager Takuya Kamata said the two projects will upgrade and improve water and sanitation services in the urban and rural areas of the country.
"The project will contribute to human development and social inclusion through improved health and productivity benefits," Kamata added.
"It will also change the daily lives of women contributing to gender advancement.
"The project will provide benefits in increased capacity, efficiency and accountability in public service provision, thus also improving local governance outcomes for citizens."
During the 70s, the country built a trunk line system to bring in drinkable water from the Amu-Bukhara canal and provide potable water to the locals, following an exhaustion and salinisation of groundwater, but the rural areas were not covered under the project.
Now, after two decades, the trunk line needs immediate attention and restoration to supply water effectively and function at its full capacity.
Image: Uzbekistan will use World Bank approved funds to improve water supply in two districts. Photo: Alan Findlay.