Karachi, DEC 7 /DNA/ – IFC signed a landmark agreement today to helpPakistan’s Sindh province structure a public-private partnership project that will provide clean drinking water to nearly 1 million people in the city of Karachi.
With a population of over 16 million, Karachi, the capital of Sindh, is Pakistan’s largest city, economic hub, and main seaport. But ithas struggled to maintain a reliable fresh water supply.Under theagreement, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will advise the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB), a Government of Sindh entity, on structuring and tenderinga project to build new infrastructure to boost the city’s water supply. The project, which will be executed by a private company, will include water treatment facilities and what’s known as a bulk water conveyance system. That system will supply Karachi with 65 million gallons of water per day from Keenjhar Lake, some 140km away.
“By bringing in the private sector to develop and operate a bulk water supply system, more people will have access to the water they need. The project will provide the framework for future greenfield water infrastructure projects,“said Murad Ali Shah, Chief Minister Sindh.
Pakistan ranks third globally for acute water shortages, according to the International Monetary Fund. Today’s signing follows another landmark public-private partnership for anadvisory agreement between IFC and KWSB last year,which included the rehabilitation and maintenance of a 100 MGD canal, a water treatment plant, and a pumping station.
The project is Pakistan’s first greenfield water supply initiative carried out under a public-private partnership.
“Water scarcity in Karachi has affected residents and hampered businesses for years. Improved infrastructure is critical to fixing this,” said Stephanie von Friedeburg, IFC’s Senior Vice President, Operations. “This project demonstrates the power of the private sector to help governments modernize infrastructure, jumpstart economic growth and improve the lives of everyday people.”
The project is part of the World Bank Group’s strategy in Pakistan to support private sector development and accelerate improvements in public service delivery. It also complements the World Bank-sponsored $1.6 billion Karachi Water and Sewerage Services Investment Project, which aims to improveKWSB’s efficiency and sustainability.