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Suriname will improve potable water services with help from IDB

Suriname will improve potable water service for up to 50,000 people and improve the efficiency of water service operators with a $12 million loan approved by the Inter-American Development Bank.

The funds will finance a program to improve the water supply distribution system in priority districts of the coastal area through rehabilitation works and measures that will reduce water losses and strengthen the financial sustainability of public service operators.

Specifically, the program will rehabilitate aging water networks by replacing old pipes and installing residential household connections and water meters, among other activities. Water losses caused by leaks and non-payment will be reduced through a comprehensive plan that will include a modern monitoring system, new flow and pressure meters and enhanced revenue collection.

The program will also finance a pilot project to improve energy use by the Suriname Water Company (SWM), by replacing old pumping equipment with new and more efficient alternatives, and by introducing new energy monitoring practices in eight locations selected in the most populated project area. Finally, the program will pay for training to improve the management, operations, maintenance and quality-control capacity of SWM. Training on water quality monitoring will also be provided to the Department for Water Supply under the Ministry of Natural Resources.

By year five of the program’s execution period, some 11,600 households are expected to have a more reliable and higher-quality water service. The program is expected to result in a 10 percent increase in the amount of water that is properly billed, a significant drop in energy usage, and reductions in average response times for repairs to the network.

The loan is from the IDB’s Ordinary Capital, with a 25 year term, a five year grace period and an interest rate based on LIBOR.