The World Bank announced on December 24 that its Board of Executive Directors approved 450 million USD in loans for Vietnam to carry out the second phase of an environmental sanitation project in Ho Chi Minh City.

According to Victoria Kwakwa, World Bank Country Director for Vietnam, said the project will help the southern economic hub address its public health’s issues at low cost and soon become cleaner and competitive. It also benefits local poor people by providing connections between households’ and the city’s sewer network, she added.

The project that set to benefit 1.1 million people will cover the development of a plant to treat wastewater discharged from Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe canal and District 2 areas.

Sewer networks that connect with private houses will be installed in parts of District 2 while technical assistance will be provided with a view to improving sanitation and wastewater management practices in HCM City.

The project costs 495 million USD, including 250 million USD coming from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), 200 million USD from the International Development Association (IDA), and 45 million USD to be financed by HCM City’s budget.

Sudipto Sarkar, WB Lead Specialist and the HCM task team leader, said improved wastewater management supports the urban development of the city, adding that under the project an Environmental Learning Centre will be established to raise public awareness of issues related to sanitation and the environment.

HCM City contributes some 20 percent of the country’s total gross domestic product. It is emerging as a major city in Southeast Asia./.