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Bolivia will improve drainage in the cities of La Paz and El Alto with IDB help

Bolivia will reduce the risk of damage from floods in the adjacent cities of La Paz and El Alto—home to around 1.8 million people—with new drainage infrastructure to be financed with $30 million approved by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The project seeks to sharply decrease damages caused by floods that periodically affect La Paz and El Alto by building, rehabilitating and expanding storm drainage structures and undertaking comprehensive measures to control erosion in surrounding watersheds.

More than 18 kilometers of storm channels and vaults are expected to be built in El Alto and four kilometers of vaults will be built or refurbished in La Paz. As part of the program, at least 195,000 people will be informed of the risks of settling in flood-prone areas, and the number of storm drains that is periodically cleaned will increase fourfold.

This is the second IDB loan in support of La Paz’s storm drainage master plan. The first, for $22 million, was approved in 2008 and is financing works that will be 70 percent complete by the end of 2010.

The new financing comes from two sources: $21 million from the IDB’s Ordinary Capital, with a 30-year term, a six-year grace period and a fixed interest rate, and $9 million from the Fund for Special Operations, with a 40-year term, a 40-year grace period, and a 0.25 percent annual interest rate.

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