MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Pakistan province of Sindh will improve water and sanitation infrastructure in its secondary cities under a $300 million loan to the Sindh Cities Improvement Investment Program approved by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The loan, in the form of a multitranche financing facility (MFF), will support urban sector reforms and capacity development, and priority investment in water supply, wastewater, and solid waste management infrastructure for Sindh's secondary cities.
Sindh is the second most populous province in Pakistan. While about half the population lives in the major cities of Karachi and Hyderabad, six million people live in more than 20 secondary cities, where deficient basic urban services stifle economic growth and contribute to poverty.
Urban services in the smaller cities fall far short of targets for quality, continuity, and coverage. Only about half the urban population of Sindh, outside of Karachi, has piped water. Even then, the water quality is poor and often flows for only two to four hours a day. Sanitary drainage is extremely limited and sewer lines are often blocked. No sanitary landfills exist, which leads to solid waste being disposed of by burning or illegal dumping in open spaces or drainage channels, causing blockage and pollution.
The ADB loan facility will also assist the Sindh government establish local government-owned urban services corporations. These corporations will be professionally managed and guided by service agreements with the local governments for more efficient operations and financial management, sound corporate governance, improved cost recovery, enhanced accountability, and greater customer focus.
The impact of the investments will be improved health and quality of life while creating more economically competitive secondary cities in Sindh. More than half a million households will also benefit from reforms that deliver a more reliable water supply, wastewater, and solid waste management.
"Not only will the city residents see better services in their water sectors, but over time we expect to see these cities transformed by long-lasting reforms," said Juan Miranda, Director General of ADB's Central and West Asia Department. "Institutional reform and better service delivery will make secondary cities more attractive for business and investment, and create a healthier environment for residents."
The first tranche of $38 million (2009-2012) targets institutional change and priority infrastructure projects in the northern Sindh cities of Sukkur, New Sukkur, Rohri, Khairpur, Shikarpur and Larkana.