In Bangladesh, 2030 WRG is engaged in a water pollution management accelerator to support the implementation of the government’s Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100, a long-term 100-year visionary plan for strategic interventions for the largest delta in the world.
2030 WRG in Bangladesh, under its water pollution management accelerator program, works to mainstream water pollution management by mobilizing both private sector capital and expertise, with the private sector also providing a climate change mitigation and adaptation perspective. The accelerator has both municipal and industrial wastewater management as design pillars. A third pillar, that cuts across both, is innovative financing mechanisms—looking at financing opportunities that go beyond conventional financing.
Water pollution has been one of the major issues in Bangladesh. The overall costs associated with water pollution in Bangladesh are estimated to be around $2.83 billion annually. Studies reveals that 41 percent of all drinking water sources are contaminated with E-Coli and 28 percent of all deaths in Bangladesh are from diseases caused by pollution. The untreated wastewater from the textile sector is one of the major sources of water pollution, accounting for more than 70 percent of the overall pollution in the country. Recognizing this serious phenomenon, the Delta Plan has addressed water pollution as one of its three pillars.
Initially, the accelerator program targets:
In FY23, 2030 WRG developed the first ever replicable model of public-private partnership (PPP) financing for municipal wastewater management in Bangladesh, for the Gazipur City Corporation (GCC).
GCC, north of capital city Dhaka, is the largest city corporation in Bangladesh, and home to 2.5 million people. GCC has no municipal wastewater management facility and is also one of the cities that is most severely affected by surface water pollution.
2030 WRG initiated the project through a rapid assessment, which triggered the need for municipal wastewater management and was fast tracked by the government. With the support of 2030 WRG, IFC has developed a financial model, which has been approved by the Ministry of Local Government and the Private Partnership Authority under the Prime Minister’s Office.
Starting July 2024, the bid document preparations will be completed, and private sector quotations will be received. The World Bank’s Water Global Practice will mobilize about $250 million in public sector financing for this project.
2030 WRG is also working on a preliminary development project proposal to mobilize the public financing component of this project. The planning commission under the Ministry of Planning is reviewing the proposal and approval is anticipated by January 2024.
Scaling up this success, the Ministry of Local Government requested 2030 WRG to initiate a PPP-based municipal wastewater management project in the Cumilla City Corporation, south of Dhaka. Cumilla is a home to 1 million people and many industrial activities, but has no wastewater management facility in place.
In FY23, 2030 WRG also worked with the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar Economic Zone in Mir-Sarai, the largest economic zone in Bangladesh, to develop a PPP model for the first ever CETP in an industrial economic zone in the country.
The CETP, with 48 million liters per day capacity, will be implemented through a hybrid annuity PPP model. This work is at an advanced stage—the transaction structure report has been approved by the Prime Minister’s office and the bid document will be completed and published by the middle of FY24.
Expected private sector investment for this project is about $10 million, with the World Bank investing $30 million. Based on this work, 2030 WRG has been requested by the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority under the Prime Minister’s Office to develop PPP-based CETP and solid waste management systems in two additional economic zones (Jamalpur and Srihatta) in Bangladesh.
This work has been endorsed by the National Steering Board of Bangladesh Water multi-stakeholder platform, which had prioritized the proposal for PPP-based CETPs and sewage treatment plants in economic zones and city corporations.
2030 WRG has also supported policy interventions at the national level to streamline municipal and industrial wastewater management in Bangladesh, working closely with the Ministry of Industries, Ministry of Local Government, and the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority. The development of Bangladesh Green and Resilient Economic Zone guidelines was supported by 2030 WRG, as was the National Framework for Water Resilient Production Practice. Both have been approved by the relevant ministries, which will pilot the two sets of guidelines once legal endorsement is completed.
The first set of guidelines for green bonds has been completed and circulated by the Bangladesh Bank (the central bank) through the Bangladesh multi-stakeholder platform. 2030 WRG initiated the drive at the end of 2022 through a national workshop, where stakeholders proposed the idea of launching the first ever green bond in wastewater management in Bangladesh. The stakeholders included 15 municipalities, eight city corporations, the Bangladesh Securities Exchange Commission, the central bank, private sector investors, the Ministry of Local Government, and the Ministry of Finance. The need for general guidelines for administering the green bond was acknowledged by the relevant stakeholders. 2030 WRG worked closely with the central bank and the Securities Exchange Commission and provided coordination support to develop the green bond guidelines.
Transparent water accounting has been recognized as one of the prerequisites for water use efficiency and appropriate water valuation. With this in mind, 2030 WRG and the Ministry of Information, Communications, and Technology worked on an incubator challenge, which asked applicants to develop reliable and locally accessible water meters for industrial and domestic users. The award ceremony for the first Water Innovation Challenge Competition was held in Dhaka in May 2023. A total of 200 submissions were registered for the two problem statements related to determining the water footprints of the urban and industry sectors. After several stages of scrutiny, four proposals were shortlisted for the next phase of prototype development and piloting. Currently, the Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority and the Department of Environment are providing support to the winners in scaling up their prototypes. It is envisioned that these water meters will be installed in household water connections at residential buildings and industrial inlets to measure the water intake while preventing data tampering.