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Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, October 15, 2016

Aim Texas Trading, LLC Overseas Management Group has attended at a tender in providing consultancy services for Second Issyk-Kul Sustainable Development Project (50176-001/ADB-TA-9169 KGZ).

The project will improve public health and environmental conditions within the area of the Issyk-Kul Lake by expanding and improving wastewater systems in selected urban centers around its shoreline. Being 180-km long, 60-km wide, and with surface area of 6,200 km2, the lenticular-shaped lake is the world’s second largest high-altitude lake. It is fed by a total of 118 rivers and streams, including hot springs and snow melt. The wider region is designated as a Ramsar (wetlands) site of globally significant biodiversity and forms part of UNESCO’s Issyk-Kul Biosphere Reserve that extends to over 43,000 km2. Rich with environmental, archeological, and cultural resources, it also provides a vital habitat for threatened and endangered species. The lake, shoreline, and surroundings are one of the nation’s most popular tourist destinations, with over 750,000 visitors in 2013, and over one million anticipated in 2020. Consequently, tourism has become an important economic driver for the region, and particularly for lakeshore areas. While the growth in tourism is destined to continue, its impact on the pristine and fragile environments and ecosystems of the lake and its vicinity are however of increasing concern, particularly from excessive sewerage pollution.

The Issyk-Kul region suffers from sewerage pollution, mostly resulting from:

1. Dilapidated infrastructure and equipment.

2. Inadequate capital investment, operations and maintenance funding; and

3. Weak institutional capacity to provide sustainable services. Historically, the sewerage sector has substantial funding constraints primarily due to low tariff levels and tariff collection efficiencies, limited public funding, and a virtual absence of private sector participation.

This has resulted in poor wastewater service throughout the region, causing pervasive environmental degradation, increased health risks from water-borne diseases and a lack of comprehensive financial policy to support environmental stability. Unmitigated, the overall effect of the deficient wastewater services will be to limit social and economic development, particularly in urban areas.

Issyk_kul hartası Konacak

A project preparatory technical assistance (PPTA) is required to complete the feasibility and related due diligence assessments and develop the investment project. The Project covers the cities of Balykchy, Cholpon–Ata, and Karakul. In continuation of the immediate outputs in the first phase, it will involve:

a) Confirmation of the technical proposals on:
i. WWTP site selection.
ii. adoption of technological solutions for treatment of sewage to acceptable effluent standards.
iii. effluent re- utilization / discharge into the environment.
iv. rehabilitation, replacement and expansion of sewerage facilities in Cholpon-Ata and Karakol.
v. preparing, updating and augmentation of cost estimates.

b) Verification of compliance with ADB’s Safeguard Policy Statement (2009) on environmental, resettlement, and social issues and preparation of necessary documents.

c) Due diligence documentation on:

i. Technical. Utilizing previous technical information, technical due diligence will ensure the selection of appropriate, least-cost and highly reliable wastewater system technologies that are appropriate for local conditions and compatible with local operation and maintenance capacities.
ii. Economic and financial. Financial and economic analyses and financial management assessments will be carried out to determine the financial viability and sustainability of the implementing institutions and project. Affordability and willingness to pay analyses will also be an important factor of the financial due diligence, in order to establish an appropriate tariff and cost recovery system.
iii. Governance. A governance risk assessment will be implemented regarding due diligence aspects of public financial management, procurement, anticorruption, policy, and legal issues.
iv. Poverty and social. The project is classified as ‘effective gender mainstreaming’. An initial poverty and social assessment have been prepared. Due diligence will include the preparation of a gender equality and social inclusion action plan, and a consultation and participation plan.
v. Safeguards. The project is provisionally categorized B for involuntary resettlement, A for environment, and C for indigenous peoples. Necessary safeguard documents will be prepared in accordance with the ADB’s Safeguard Policy Statement (2009).
vi. Climate change and disasters. Due diligence will be carried out for disaster and climate change risk assessment, considering the vulnerability of the Issyk-Kul Lake and surrounding region to climate change and natural disasters.

d) Structuring the enhancement of water and wastewater institutional sustainability by developing plans for:
i. increased cost recovery.
ii. improved financial management.
iii. enhanced utility staff training and capacity building.
iv. strengthened water quality monitoring.
v. increased environmental and hygiene awareness, and
vi. an increase in the number of women developed as hygiene and sanitary advocates.

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