Bolivia to improve mid-sized cities water and sanitation services with IDB assistance

$79 million project will provide new or enhanced drinking water and sanitation services to more than 44,000 homes

Bolivia will launch in 2020 a project to expand and improve drinking water and sanitation services with help from a $79 million loan approved today by the Inter-American Development Bank’s Board of Directors.

The project seeks to improve environmental and health conditions for people living in cities with 2,000 to 20,000 residents by providing more and better-quality potable water and sanitation services. The program will be executed by the ministries of Environment and Water, and Planning and Development.

The program will benefit 44,000-plus households in mid-sized cities throughout the country. These communities, which have historically lagged behind in terms of basic services, are now at the center of the Bolivian government’s development plans.

The IDB-funded project covers the whole lifecycle of the program, from feasibility studies to final design to physical infrastructure execution. The latter comprises building, refurbishing, and/or replacing and enhancing drinking water systems and sewerage networks as well as construction of wastewater treatment plants and other sanitation solutions.

The program also includes environmental management and community organization arrangements to ensure social control and execution of both the projects and service supply. To this end, sanitation and environment education workshops will be held, with a particular focus on women’s participation. This component includes promoting community involvement in construction and maintenance of sanitation solutions that are best suited to their social and geographic environments.

International experience has shown that women play a key role in this subject due to their involvement in the use of water at home and in the oversight and promotion of good hygiene habits. Water and sanitation projects designed and operated with women’s participation are more effective and sustainable.

The execution stage will also favor a multicultural approach, taking into consideration that most of the beneficiaries are indigenous peoples—a segment of the Bolivian population that lags behind by up to 30 percent in terms of drinking water and sanitation services.

The loan will be disbursed over a five-year period, with a 19.5-year repayment term, a grace period of up to 12.5 years, and a LIBOR-based interest rate.

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.

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Omar Garzonio
Project Specialist