Sindh government and IFC, a member of World Bank Group, signed a landmark agreement on Tuesday at CM House to help provincial government structure a public-private partnership project that would provide clean drinking water to nearly one million people of Karachi.
The signing ceremony was held here under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, said a statement.
The ceremony was attended by Senior Vice President, Operations IFC Stephanie von Friedeburg, Regional VP Hela Cheikhrouhou, Country head Nadeem A. Siddiqui, Regional Head Shabana Khawar, Muneer Ferozie, Zeeshan Ahmed Sheikh, Mirza Khurram Baig, Muhammad Bhatti.
On Sindh government side Minister Local Government Nasir Shah, Administrator KMC Murtaza Wahab, CM Special Assistant Qasim Naveed, Principal Secretary to CM Sajid jamal Abro, Secretary Local Govt Najam Shah.Secretary Finance Hassan Naqvi, Chief Economist P&D Hassan Naqvi, MD Water board Hassan Naqvi, PD KWSSIP Salahuddin and DG PPP Unit Khalid Shaikh.
The chief minister said that with a population of over 16 million, Karachi, the capital of Sindh, was Pakistan’s largest city, economic hub, and main seaport but it has struggled to maintain a reliable fresh water supply.
He added that under the agreement, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, would advise the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB), on structuring and tendering a project to build new infrastructure to boost the city’s water supply.
The project to be executed by a private company, would include water treatment facilities and what’s known as a bulk water conveyance system, Syed Murad Ali Shah said and added that system would supply Karachi with 65 million gallons of water per day from Keenjhar Lake, some 140km from the city.
“By bringing in the private sector to develop and operate a bulk water supply system, more people will have access to the water they need,” the CM said and added “the project will provide the framework for future green-field water infrastructure projects.
“ It may be noted that Pakistan ranks third globally for acute water shortages, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Today’s signing follows another landmark public-private partnership for an advisory agreement between IFC and KWSB last year, which included the rehabilitation and maintenance of a 100 MGD canal, a water treatment plant, and a pumping station.
The project is Pakistan’s first green-field water supply initiative carried out under a public-private partnership.
Senior Vice President IFC Ms Stephanie von Friedeburg speaking on the occasion said that Water scarcity in Karachi has affected residents and hampered businesses for years, therefore improved infrastructure was critical to fix it.
She added that the project demonstrated the power of the private sector to help governments modernize infrastructure, jumpstart economic growth and improve the lives of everyday people.”
The project is part of the World Bank Group’s strategy in Pakistan to support private sector development and accelerate improvements in public service delivery.
It also complements the World Bank-sponsored $1.6 billion Karachi Water and Sewerage Services Investment Project, which aims to improve KWSB’s efficiency and sustainability.
On behalf of Sindh Government MD Water Board Asadullah Khan signed a Public Private Partnership Advisory Agreement for 65 MGD Karachi Bulk Water Supply Project with IFC Regional Vice President Ms. Hela Cheikhrouhou which was witnessed by Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and others.