IDB to provide US$50mn for Bogotá river cleanup

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a US$50mn loan to support Colombia's Cundinamarca department autonomous regional corporation (CAR) in its Bogotá river cleanup efforts, CAR announced.

The IDB will also contribute with a US$1.5mn grant to CAR's environmental control program. An additional US$643,000 will come from the corporation itself.

Projects for the basin's protection are to be carried out in multiple stages, the first of which will be to implement an institutional, managerial, financial and operational framework to carry out the cleanup project.

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With the loan CAR further plans to invest in building aqueducts and increasing potable water supply, drainage systems and wastewater treatment for all 41 municipalities located in the Bogotá river basin.

The credit will also finance the design, construction and operation of wastewater treatment plants for municipalities that do not have them, as an alternative to the practice of discharging untreated wastewaters directly into the river.

With the treated wastewater CAR hopes to nearly double the area of irrigated land to 25,000ha in the department's Ramada irrigation district, said CAR general director Gloria Lucía Álvarez.

Officials also plan to use the treated wastewater to replenish the western Sabana wetlands and develop industrial activities.