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ADB approves $71m loan for Bangladesh’s water resources management

ADB approves $71m loan for Bangladesh’s water resources management
World Business

Business Desk

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved $71 million loan to improve flood control, irrigation, and water resources management in rural communities of Gopalganj and Madaripur districts in Bangladesh to strengthen their preparedness and resilience to the effects of climate change.

"The ADB additional support will further boost economic growth and productivity, increase incomes and sustainable livelihoods, especially for women and vulnerable groups, and reduce poverty in rural areas of southwest Bangladesh,” an official release quoted ADB Senior Project Management Specialist Pushkar Srivastav as saying. 

The financial grant project is expected to benefit more than 600,000 people and will introduce climate-resilient flood control, drainage, and irrigation (FCDI) measures and reduce saline intrusion, the release said.

It will adopt nature-based solutions to strengthen FCDI infrastructure and improve drainage in four subbasins as the project will develop and enhance integrated water management plans, construct training centers for water management organizations, and other community infrastructure.

The project will sustain the gains achieved under the ADB-financed Southwest Area Integrated Water Resources Planning and Management Project, which has improved agricultural production, improved community infrastructure, and increased rural households’ incomes,” said Pushkar.

Based on the Global Climate Risk Index, Bangladesh is ranked seventh in terms of vulnerability to climate risk. Bangladesh faces increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather and slow-onset climate events.

Without effective adaptation measures, the country could lose about 30% of agricultural gross domestic product by 2050 because of climate variability and extreme events impacting rural communities, especially women, who depend on climate-sensitive agricultural practices and natural resources for their livelihoods, said the press release.

The ADB financial project will promote participatory water resource management to foster local ownership and ensure sustainability.

It will strengthen the capacity of water management groups in the design, construction, and operation and maintenance of the facilities and support the establishment of joint management committees.

Support will be extended to form water management organizations in four subproject areas targeting women’s membership.

The project will also build the capacity of the Bangladesh Water Development Board to improve coordination of government agencies concerned with water resources management, supervise the activities of water management organizations, and integrate climate adaptation in its operations.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.