The project will take a participatory approach to address the social, environmental, and institutional constraints to inclusive development in coastal towns, and will serve to pilot new approaches in climate adaption. It will continue the good practices of performance-based development from the first and second Urban Governance and Infrastructure Improvement (Sector) Projects (UGIIP), and reflect lessons learned from TA 7197 Strengthening Resilience of the Water Sector in Khulna to Climate Change, TA 7848 Climate Change Capacity Building and Knowledge Management, and recommendations from the ongoing CDTA 7890 Strengthening the Resilience of the Urban Water Supply, Drainage, and Sanitation to Climate Change in Coastal Towns related to the location of water-intake works and the appropriate design of drainage systems, and urban wastewater discharge. , The project will closely coordinate with the World Bank and other donors working in the urban sector.
ADB's Country Operations Business Plan (2012 2014) lists the Coastal Towns Infrastructure Improvement Project for implementation in 2013. The project is consistent with ADB's Bangladesh Country Partnership Strategy (2011-2015) which targets assistance to vulnerable coastal areas in adapting to the risks of climate change, as well as ADB's urban and water operational plans. , A sector loan modality is considered to accommodate subprojects across multiple towns in a phased manner.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
The project takes an integrated approach to urban environmental improvement in vulnerable coastal towns of Bangladesh, which suffer deficits in basic urban services and are severely at risk to the impacts of climate change. It will provide climate resilient municipal infrastructure with key investments in water supply, sanitation, drainage, urban roads and bridges, solid waste management, slum improvements, and transport facilities. The project will strengthen local governance and capacity for sustainable service delivery and urban planning, as well as improve natural disaster preparedness. The Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), with extensive experience in managing Asian Development Bank (ADB) urban projects, will be the Executing Agency for the Project.
Climate change and variability are critical development issues for Bangladesh, particularly in its low lying coastal areas naturally exposed to sea level rise, storm surges, and more frequent and intense storm events. The government, in its Sixth Five-Year Plan, FY2011 FY2015, targets assistance to vulnerable coastal populations requiring investments in climate resilient water supply, sanitation, and drainage infrastructure. The project is also prioritized in the government's 2010 Strategic Program for Climate Resilience (SPCR), making it eligible for financing from the Strategic Climate Fund (SCF) as a pilot project for mainstreaming climate resilience into coastal town development.
The coastal areas of Bangladesh consist of 19 districts with a total urban population of 8.5 million, including pourashavas (secondary towns) and city corporations such as Khulna, Chittagong, and Barisal. Urban infrastructure in these areas are generally inadequate as they no longer function effectively or are damaged by natural disasters. Weak local governance and institutional capacity coupled with high poverty incidence (52%) and remote locations create persistent development challenges to coastal towns.
Climate change and natural disasters further aggravate development in coastal towns, with disproportionate impacts to women and the poor. The increased incidence of saline intrusion into water supplies from sea level rise poses serious risks to public health, requiring the potential for new, but costlier, source development far from consumers. Poor access to sanitation in coastal towns is also posing serious environmental health risks, with 44% of the country's urban population lacking access to improved sanitation facilities (Bangladesh is currently behind in achieving its MDG Target 10 indicators for urban sanitation). Drainage systems are underdeveloped and poorly maintained, and would be made further obsolete under more frequent and intense storm events. Given this scenario, future investments in urban infrastructure need to be climate-resilient to manage the long-term costs of investments, and to ensure that such investments deliver their intended benefits.