Pakistan needs $6bn for water supply, sanitation: ADB

Published December 24, 2020
A woman displaced by the floods walks along a flooded road in in Digri district near Hyderabad. — File photo
A woman displaced by the floods walks along a flooded road in in Digri district near Hyderabad. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan needs around $6 billion annual investment for water supply and sanitation in the country, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) reported.

According to the projected annual investment needs for water supply and sanitation, the projected investment would account for around 2.3 per cent to the country’s GDP.

The report titled Asian Water Development Outlook 2020, advancing water security across Asia and Pacific, maintained that the total annual estimated investment required over 2015-2030 to achieve universal access to safely managed water supply and sanitation services in Asia and the Pacific amounts to $198bn per year.

This estimate, which includes capital, maintenance, and operation costs, is based on the World Bank figures derived from the gap in access to services as of 2015 and the cost of connecting those without access, as well as improving the level of service for those with access to reach Sustainable Develop­ment Goals 6.1 and 6.2.

The report added that China ($60bn per year) and India ($22bn per year) have the highest annual investment needs for water supply and sanitation. It also illustrates that, except for a few notable outliers (Timor-Leste, Afghanistan, Nepal, Pakistan), most ADB members have to allocate 1-2pc of GDP to invest in water supply and sanitation infrastructure during 2015-2030, based on growth forecasts.

The report further argues that improving water security in Asia and the Pacific requires huge investments for 2021 to 2030. Funding these investments is an issue rising on the political agenda. Besides social and environmental reasons to improve water security, there is also a compelling economic case for water investments.

Water risks must be assessed and controlled to lessen economic impacts. For example, during 2003-2013, weather-related disasters have amounted to $750bn losses in the region, with Myanmar, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Thailand among the most affected.

The report added that water management is key for water security, climate resilience and economic growth. A sustainable and inclusive economic growth in Asia and the Pacific requires managing water resources and mitigating water risk.

Published in Dawn, December 24th, 2020

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