World Bank lends $100m to Chinese city to curb floods

FloodingThe World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors have approved a $100 million loan to China to improve flood protection for 1.3 million people living in the urban areas of Ma’anshan city in Anhui Province.

Ma’anshan city is one of China’s twenty fastest-growing cities located in the Yangtze Delta but as a result of rapid urbanization and city expansion, it is facing several challenges like, decreasing level of protection against flooding due to weakened embankments, frequent inundation in urban areas due to reduced capacity of the Cihu River and its tributaries to drain storm water.

In a statement issued June 4, 2013, the World Bank’s Senior Urban Specialist, Meskerem Brhane, said “Through this new project, we are working with the Ma’anshan City Government to strengthen its abilities to protect people from the risk of urban flooding by bringing global best practice and innovation in the design and engineering of storm drainage systems and environmental monitoring.”

The total project cost is estimated to be $210.3 million. The World Bank’s loan will finance 47 % of the project and the counterpart financing will come from the municipal budget.

China is said to be among the world’s most flood-prone countries and according to the World Bank, climate change is likely to increase the frequency of storms and floods.

“So experience gained from this project can also provide lessons for other Chinese cities vulnerable to floods,” said Meskerem Brhane.

By Dorcas Appiah

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