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Colombia will improve potable water, sanitation and electricity services with IDB support

A loan of $231.4 million will boost the delivery of sustainable basic services along the Pacific coast.

Colombia will reduce the gap in access to potable water, basic sanitation and electricity services along its Pacific coast with the assistance of a $231.4 loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The Pacific coastal region has a population of 1.6 million people, about 90 percent of them Afro-descendants. The region has many natural resources and a high ethnic and cultural diversity but trails the rest of the country in income and equity.

The program, part of the campaign called “We Are All PAZcific,” is designed to increase potable water and sewage services and improve the disposal of solid wastes in the municipalities of Quibdó and Buenaventura, and to promote access to electricity services that are efficient, sustainable and less dependent on fossil fuels along the entire coastal region.

Planned activities include providing improved access to potable water to more than 80,000 homes, while work on the sewage systems will benefit more than 12,000 homes. Additionally, two open-air garbage dumps will be closed. A landfill will be built in Buenaventura with a capacity for 100,000 annual tons of solid waste, and Quibdó will be provided with a temporary waste holding facility and equipment for handling the materials.

The program also will create 20,000 new users of sustainable electricity along the Pacific coastline, expanding the service from the current level of seven hours per day to a reliable 24 hours per day. About 210 schools that now lack electricity will also be connected to the full-time electricity system, and the use of equipment for renewable energy systems will be encouraged, in order to reduce the region's dependence on hydrocarbons.

The loan, from the IDB's ordinary capital, is for 10 years, with a grace period of 6.5 years and an interest rate based on LIBOR.

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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.