ADB to lend Bangladesh $45 million for water resource project

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 06, 2015 10:12 AM

DHAKA (Reuters) - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is part-funding expansion of a water resources project in southwest Bangladesh that has sharply increased agriculture production and benefited nearly 200,000 people, it said on Tuesday.

ADB is providing a $45 million loan and the government of the Netherlands is expected to give a grant of $7 million. Both provided initial funding for the scheme, which was approved in 2005.

The new funds will help renovate or build gated water retention structures and flood embankments, and re-excavate clogged drainage and irrigation canals.Sustainable water resources management is crucial for poverty reduction in Bangladesh, where more than 80 percent of poor people live in rural areas and depend on agriculture or fisheries for their livelihoods.

Natsuko Totsuka, Senior Resources Specialist in ADB’s South Asia Department, said rice production had nearly doubled and fish production risen 30 percent in two pilot project areas.

"This new financing will allow us to replicate the success of the project across nine nearby areas... with a population of nearly 470,000."

The expanded project is expected to be completed in June 2022.

(Reporting By Serajul Quadir; editing by John Stonestreet)