IDB maintains US$18.6mn for Cochabamba waterworks

Monday, June 24, 2002

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has decided to keep US$18.6mn in place to help Bolivia's Cochabamba municipal water utility Semapa extend its potable water and sewerage network, which would benefit 106,000 residents in the city's southeast, according to mayor Gonzalo Terceros Rojas.

The decision follows an announcement in April by Terceros that the IDB had cut the loan request to US$6mn due to the lack of water sources to supply areas that would benefit from the expansion of the city's potable water network, as well as the network's high water loss rate.

The IDB will support Semapa's plans as long as the utility submits the final expansion design projects within 90 days, which meet goals of a 40-year concession contract Semapa signed with the city's basic waterworks superintendence to manage the local waterworks system in April, said the mayor, quoted in local paper Los Tiempos.

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Semapa plans include installing 17,400 water meters that would reduce current water loss 20-25%; building a pump station to deliver potable water; and finish construction on an 8km sewage collector. Subsequent projects include construction of extra sewage collectors and two water storage tanks, and providing technical and economic support for sewerage expansion in 70 neighborhood associations.