The Project is a key environmental improvement and management initiative of the Hefei municipal government (HMG) to meet national environmental guidelines and ensure Hefei's sustainable growth. The Project will bring tangible benefits to the environment of Hefei, the capital of Anhui province, by (i) enhancing the quality of its water resources, (ii) strengthening the wastewater treatment facilities and sewer networks, (iii) reducing the incidence and damage of flooding in three rivers and Chao Lake, and (iv) improving the urban air quality and reducing road accidents and vehicular emissions through a more efficient city road network and integrated transport management operations in a model development zone. The Project also will provide institutional capacity-building measures in urban environmental management and policy reforms to ensure sustainability of the Project and
The Project has three components: (i) wastewater and waste management, (ii) river rehabilitation and flood control improvement, and (iii) improved road infrastructure and traffic management in the Xinzhan zone (this was cancelled in July 2009). The Project also provides for institutional capacity building for project management and operation. The Project supports the Government's 11th Five-Year Program (2006 2010) to improve the living conditions and health in the cities of the PRC, and to promote their sustainable economic development. It is classified as a targeted intervention because it will contribute to achieving Millennium Development Goal 7, Target 10, which calls for halving the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. The Project is consistent with ADB's water policy and Urban Sector Strategy.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
Improving the urban environment in Hefei is crucial to achieving and sustaining HMG's medium- to long-term development objectives. HMG has included a multisector environmental
protection program in the city's 11th Five-Year Program. It also has identified a list of priority projects for ADB financing, including the proposed Project, which will improve wastewater management, flood control, and traffic management in Hefei.
Water pollution and flooding are major environmental hazards in Hefei. The Nanfei River cuts through the heart of the city, flowing from west to east before turning south to drain into Chao Lake, one of the five major freshwater lakes in the PRC. Three tributaries of the Nanfei River, which flow through the northern sections of the city, are heavily polluted with sewage and wastewater dumped into the tributaries instead of being collected and sent to a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). The WWTPs in Hefei lack sufficient capacity to handle all of the city's wastewater, and the sewage network is also inadequate. The Nanfei River and its tributaries, as well as the northern end of Chao Lake within the Hefei
municipality, are prone to flooding, which affects the immediate urban area. In addition, the filled and closed solid waste landfill nearby seeps wastewater directly into the river and indirectly into the groundwater. Adequate protection of this landfill and disposal of seeping wastewater in a WWTP are urgently required.
Major traffic jams and flow problems in the city worsen air pollution and traffic accidents. To improve traffic flow and reduce vehicular emissions, HMG plans to construct expressways and flyovers, and upgrade traffic signal networks, using its own resources. It has requested assistance from ADB to upgrade the road network and install a better traffic surveillance system and traffic management scheme as a pilot component of the proposed Project in Xinzhan, a high-growth industrial and residential zone. This area is adjacent to the main stations that connect Hefei with the national railway networks. The area will form a hub for transport services, including buses, logistic centers, and freight vehicle operations. A sustainable road safety strategy and vehicle emissions control plan will be implemented in the area, while the new roads will be provided with full sewerage and environmental protection systems. Xinzhan has been developed to complement increasing demand for urbanization in Hefei. Industrial and manufacturing growth in this area also would help reduce poverty in the city through the provision of job opportunities.