World Bank loan to help Chinese citybuy wristbands in bulk handle floods, pollution

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BEIJING - The World Bank has approved a $150-million loan to a city in southwest China to help improve flood risk management and reduce water pollution.

The loan will supplement government funding worth $200 million to finance a water infrastructure project in Hezhou, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, which will be completed within six years and directly benefit more than 100,000 people, according to a World Bank statement.

Hezhou is currently the only prefecture-level city in Guangxi without a flood control system.

The project will reduce flood risks along a river by connecting the main stream to tributaries, improving flood drainage capacity, removing obstructions, and upgrading mainstream infrastructure.

Water pollution will also be reduced as a new sewage treatment plant and associated facilities will be built to separate wastewater from rainwater and achieve better treatment. Greenhouse gas emissions are expected to go down by 1,697 tonnes of CO2-equivalent per year.

"Globally, cities benefit from integrated approaches to successfully and sustainably reduce urban flooding risks," said Qin Gang, World Bank senior water supply and sanitation specialist.

"This project will tap into the World Bank"s experience and global knowledge, and share international best practices in integrated urban water management to help Hezhou improve its water environment and urban climate resilience," Qin said.