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Kyrgyz Republic: Issyk-Kul Wastewater Management Project

Sovereign (Public) Project | 50176-002 Status: Active

The project will improve wastewater services in two lakeshore cities on Issyk-Kul lake, in the eastern region of the Kyrgyz Republic. It will upgrade and expand the existing wastewater systems, build institutional capacity, and strengthen the sustainability of the water supply and sanitation (WSS) utilities in Balykchy and Karakol.

Project Details

Project Officer
Amanova, Ainagul Central and West Asia Department Request for information
  • Kyrgyz Republic
  • Water and other urban infrastructure and services
Project Name Issyk-Kul Wastewater Management Project
Project Number 50176-002
Country Kyrgyz Republic
Project Status Active
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Grant
Source of Funding / Amount
Grant 0628-KGZ: Issyk-kul Wastewater Management Project
concessional ordinary capital resources lending / Asian Development Fund US$ 12.84 million
Loan 3742-KGZ: Issyk-kul Wastewater Management Project
concessional ordinary capital resources lending / Asian Development Fund US$ 23.68 million
Strategic Agendas Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Governance and capacity development
Private sector development
Sector / Subsector

Water and other urban infrastructure and services / Urban policy, institutional and capacity development - Urban sewerage

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Effective gender mainstreaming
Description The project will improve wastewater services in two lakeshore cities on Issyk-Kul lake, in the eastern region of the Kyrgyz Republic. It will upgrade and expand the existing wastewater systems, build institutional capacity, and strengthen the sustainability of the water supply and sanitation (WSS) utilities in Balykchy and Karakol.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

Issyk-Kul lake, the second-largest high-altitude lake in the world, is renowned for its clear waters; it is designated as a Ramsar site of globally significant biodiversity, and is a key asset of the Issyk-Kul Biosphere Reserve. The surrounding Issyk-Kul region is rich with environmental, archeological, and cultural resources, and supports internationally important biodiversity. As a consequence, the region is one of the nation's most popular tourist destinations, with tourism now an important source of revenue, especially for lakeshore cities. The impacts of tourism growth on the environment and ecosystems of the lake and shoreline areas are of growing concern, particularly in relation to wastewater pollution, and notably in the three primary lakeshore cities of Balykchy, Cholpon-Ata, and Karakol.

Core problem. Balykchy (population 47,000) is located at the western extremity of the lake; Karakol (population 76,000) is located at the lake's eastern extremity. Both cities have extended aeration-based wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) that were constructed in the 1980s. However, only 30% of the population in Balykchy (3,400 households), and 45% of the population in Karakol (7,200 households) are currently connected to the centralized systems. The WWTPs are dilapidated and treat only about 8 million liters per day (MLD) of wastewater through sedimentation. The remaining 14 MLD of wastewater is disposed of through unsanitary pit latrines and other methods characterized by poor maintenance and lack of adequate septage collection and disposal. While most resorts maintain sewage treatment facilities, monitoring of treatment operations and effluent quality is inadequate. The combination of partially operating sewerage systems, self-provision of sanitation facilities, and inadequate monitoring of sewage discharge from resorts pose a significant threat to the lake's water quality, leading to increased public health risks and environmental degradation. These in turn limit tourism development, which relies heavily on the lake's environment.

Vodokanal enterprises in Balykchy and Karakol are responsible for WSS services. Their expenditures are high due to operational inefficiencies arising from the aging system, poor operational and management capacity and lack of maintenance equipment. Staff incentives are low, with no corporate motivation mechanisms. The vodokanals are unable to recover operating costs through their revenues and rely on budget support. To improve their cash flows, vodokanals need to develop corporate-oriented business plans and service standards, train and retain skilled staff in technical and financial management to improve the operational efficiency and provide better customer services, so that customers are willing to pay increased tariffs.

Sector policies and institutional arrangements. Government targets for WSS services focus on inclusive development to improve functionality, enhance service levels, and expand municipal sanitation. In terms of policy, this includes a targeted strategy for WSS development to 2026, and a national strategy to guide sustainable development to 2040. A comprehensive legislative and regulatory framework for environmental and natural resource protection has also been enacted with project responsibility recently transferred to the technically oriented Department of Drinking Water Supply and Sewerage Development (DDWSSD). The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has provided assistance through the Issyk-Kul Sustainable Development Project, which improved wastewater collection systems and provided institutional strengthening in both Balykchy and Karakol. Other development partners also provide WSS sector assistance.

Priority needs. Wastewater treatment in both cities is inadequate, and the dilapidated WWTPs urgently require upgrading to meet effluent discharge standards. This is widely recognized as essential for the proper functioning of the systems and their subsequent expansion. The management of septage from private sanitation facilities needs to be improved, and sludge discharged from the Karakol WWTP to a reservoir needs to be removed. Building on the original Issyk-Kul Sustainable Development Project (footnote 11) institutional development initiatives, the vodokanals require further strengthening to increase their financial management and operation and maintenance (O&M) capabilities, and to continue their adoption of modern, best practices in utility operations.

Proposed project. Complementing the Issyk-Kul Sustainable Development Project, the project will upgrade the WWTPs with new technology, further expand the networks, improve private facility septage management, and remove wastewater sludge from a reservoir in Karakol. It will further build the capacities of the two vodokanals through structural strengthening and targeted personnel training in utility corporate planning, O&M, and financial management. The project will support the following operational priority areas of Strategy 2030: (i) making cities more livable, (ii) enhancing environmental sustainability, and (iii) strengthening governance and institutional capacity. The project is consistent with ADB's Water Operational Plan 2011 2020, and ADB's country operations business plan, 2018 2020 for the Kyrgyz Republic. It also aligns with previous and ongoing ADB-funded sector projects and contributes to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals.

Value added by ADB's assistance.

(i) Technology and innovation. ADB's intervention will introduce modern, efficient wastewater treatment technologies that assure stringent compliance with effluent discharge standards, while being cost efficient and within the operational capacity of vodokanals. The selected modern technology intermittently decanted extended aeration lagoon with trickling filter tertiary treatment has a high potential for replication in other cities throughout the nation.

(ii) Institutional development. The project will support further development of the vodokanals for modern utility management, including (a) formulating corporate business plans; (b) targeted training modules on corporate utility management, O&M, and utility financial management; (c) twinning with an international WSS knowledge-based facility; and (d) establishing a septage management unit in each vodokanal; and (e) providing O&M equipment.

(iii) Climate change. The project design incorporates climate adaptation solutions that will enhance the climate resilience of the cities. These include (a) separating drainage networks from wastewater networks, (b) introducing climate-resilient design standards and features, and (c) improving system sustainability through the selection of corrosion-resistant pipelines and the incorporation of WWTP technologies that better withstand climate-induced impacts.

Lessons. Lessons incorporated in the project from previous ADB-financed projects include (i) strengthening project management effectiveness through deeper engagement of the executing agency, implementing agency, and steering committee; (ii) minimizing the number of procurement packages to improve efficiency; (iii) strengthening project and vodokanal staff capacity and knowledge; (iv) instituting project staff performance reviews; and (v) facilitating advance action for land acquisition, resettlement, and detailed engineering design.

Impact Living standards, health, and economy in the Issyk-Kul Region improved.
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome Access to sustainable and reliable wastewater services in Balykchy and Karakol improved and expanded.
Progress Toward Outcome
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Balykchy and Karakol wastewater systems improved.

Vodokanal capacity strengthened.

Septage management services improved and sanitation and hygiene awareness increased.

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)
Geographical Location Ysyk-Kol
Safeguard Categories
Environment B
Involuntary Resettlement B
Indigenous Peoples C
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects By expanding wastewater collection and improving treatment, the project will significantly reduce (i) nutrients, pathogenic elements, and contaminants released to the environment; (ii) the risk to Issyk-Kul Lake from eutrophication; and (iii) human health threats from pathogens. No unavoidably severe or permanent negative impacts are likely to arise from project activities provided that appropriate mitigation measures are adopted. Temporary environmental impacts occurring during construction can be managed, minimized, and mitigated. Operational impacts will be contained within sanitary protection zones (SPZs) around facilities. The accidental leakage of untreated effluents will not discharge to Issyk-Kul Lake or its core or buffer zones by design, treated effluents will be used for irrigation and the risk of untreated effluent discharge to the lake is, therefore, negligible. The environmental management plan (EMP) includes mitigation measures to address construction and operation impacts. Public consultations have been conducted in both Balykchy and Karakol.
Involuntary Resettlement Detailed measurement surveys carried out during project preparation identified approximately 26 affected households with a total of 99 household members, of which approximately 15 households with 67 members will experience severe impacts on their livelihood because they will be required to relocate. No affected household was found to belong to a vulnerable group. A land acquisition and resettlement plan (LARP) and land acquisition and resettlement framework have been prepared to mitigate and address all associated losses in accordance with ADB's Safeguard Policy Statement and relevant national legislation. Project information was disclosed and meaningful consultations with project stakeholders and displaced persons were undertaken during LARP preparation and will continue throughout implementation. When final SPZ boundaries are decided by the government and the project design is finalized, or additional land requirements or involuntary resettlement impacts are identified, the LARP will be updated in accordance with applicable laws and ADB's Safeguard Policy Statement, and ADB approval obtained prior to any further implementation. All displaced people will receive compensation in accordance with the LARP provisions. The PMO will be responsible for land acquisition and resettlement implementation and for compliance with ADB's safeguards requirements and national regulations. DDWSSD will submit semiannual safeguards monitoring reports to ADB for review and disclosure.
Indigenous Peoples There are no indigenous peoples, as defined in ADB's Safeguard Policy Statement, in the project area, and the project is classified as category C for indigenous peoples.
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design
During Project Implementation
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services There are several consulting packages envisaged under the project: (i) DSC - awarded in Feb 2020, (ii) Audit services (awarded), (iii) Institutional Development Consultant, (iv) individual consultant selection - 3 contracts awarded (CTA, IPS, IME)
Procurement There are five major civil works contract packages envisaged under this project: (i) Design and Build (DB) of Wastewater Treatment in Balykchy ($5 million), (ii) Wastewater Treatment in Karakol ($10.8 million), (iii) Expansion of sewer network in Karakol ($3.4 million), (iv) Expansion of sewer network in Balykchy ($2.1 million); and (v) Pump station and rising main in Karakol ($3.4 million). The procurement of DB contract for Wastewater Treatment in Balykchy was advertised on 4 May 2020.
Responsible ADB Officer Amanova, Ainagul
Responsible ADB Department Central and West Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Kyrgyz Resident Mission
Executing Agencies
Department of Drinking Water Supply and Sewerage Development under the State Agency for Architecture, Construction, Housing & Public Utilities under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic
[email protected]
28,Manas Avenue,Bishkek,Kyrgyz Republic
Concept Clearance 14 Sep 2016
Fact Finding 16 May 2018 to 31 May 2018
MRM 08 Aug 2018
Approval 20 Nov 2018
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 20 Nov 2018

Grant 0628-KGZ

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
20 Nov 2018 28 Dec 2018 16 Aug 2019 30 Jun 2025 - -
Financing Plan Grant Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 12.84 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 12.84 20 Nov 2018 3.51 0.00 27%
Counterpart 0.00 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 0.00 20 Nov 2018 0.95 0.00 7%

Loan 3742-KGZ

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
20 Nov 2018 28 Dec 2018 16 Aug 2019 30 Jun 2025 - -
Financing Plan Loan Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 28.98 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 23.68 20 Nov 2018 0.00 0.00 0%
Counterpart 5.30 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 0.00 20 Nov 2018 0.00 0.00 0%

Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

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Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards

Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.

Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

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Related Publications

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Tender Title Type Status Posting Date Deadline
Consultant on improving the financial management of municipal enterprises "Vodokanal" in Karakol and Balykchy Firm - Consulting Closed 19 Mar 2021 02 Apr 2021
Project Management Office Director Individual - Consulting Closed 18 Dec 2020 24 Dec 2020
International Procurement Specialist Individual - Consulting Closed 04 Jul 2020 17 Jul 2020
International Wastewater Process Engineer Individual - Consulting Closed 18 Jun 2020 07 Jul 2020
L3742/G0628-KGZ: Issyk-Kul Wastewater Management Project [IWMP – D&B – 002] Invitation for Bids Closed 04 May 2020 10 Jul 2020
Audits of the Issyk-Kul Wastewater Management Project Financial Statements and the Financial Statements of Balykchy and Karakol Vodokanals Firm - Consulting Closed 23 Jan 2020 21 Feb 2020
International Mechanical Engineer Individual - Consulting Closed 26 Dec 2019 15 Jan 2020
Design and Supervision Consultant Firm - Consulting Closed 22 Jun 2019 21 Jul 2019
Procurement Specialist Individual - Consulting Closed 19 Jun 2019 02 Jul 2019
Chief Technical Advisor Individual - Consulting Closed 06 Jun 2019 19 Jun 2019

Contracts Awarded

Contract Title Approval Number Contract Date Contractor Contractor Address Executing Agency Contract Description Total Contract Amount (US$) Contract Amount Financed by ADB (US$)
DESIGN AND SUPERVISION CONSULTANT Grant 0628 21 Feb 2020 TEMELSU INTERNATIONAL ENGINEERING SURVECIES MR. MURAT TUNCA EMAIL: [email protected] TURKEY Dep't of Drinking Water Supply & Sewerage Dev't 2,750,891.96

Procurement Plan