Program will benefit 56,000 households in mid-size municipalities
Ecuador will expand and improve access to drinking water, sewage services and treatment of waste water and solid waste through a $120 million loan approved by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The National Program for Investment in Water, Sanitation and Solid Waste (PROSANEAMIENTO in Spanish) calls for infrastructure, financial and environmental impact studies of projects, and institutional strengthening for providers of drinking water and sanitation in 100 mid-size municipalilties (with between 10,000 and 100,000 residents) that are eligible to receive funds from the program.
According to data from the National Census of 2010, 72 percent of homes in Ecuador get their water from the public grid. As for sewage services, the national coverage level is nearly 54 percent. But these overall figures mask huge geographic and socio-economic inequalities: in Ecuador nearly six million people do not have access to water in their homes, and more than eight million lack proper sanitation. What is more, the Environment Ministry says 28 percent of solid waste ends up in landfills and 72 percent in open air dumps, waste incinerators, creeks or rivers. All this represents a major sanitary and environmental threat.
With the goal of expanding coverage of services, boosting their quality and increasing the efficiency of how these services are managed, the program aims to help 21,000 households via new water hook-ups, another 35,000 with new sanitation connections, either as part of a grid or individually, and dispose properly of 165 tons per day of solid waste. These improvements in access to and quality of services will have a positive effect on Ecuadorans' standard of living and help conserve bodies of water, especially urban ones.
The IDB loan is over 25 years, with a grace period of four years and an interest rate based on LIBOR. The program is also benefitting from a $30 million contribution from the China Co-financing Fund for Latin America and the Caribbean, administered by the IDB, and a local contribution of $ 51.6 million.