The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) plans to bring $270 million to Bangladesh for a municipal water supply and sanitation project.
The project is expected to be approved at a board meeting in December this year, said Laurel Ostfield, head of communications and development of the Beijing-based lender, on Monday.
She shared the information while talking to The Daily Star when she and an AIIB delegation visited Savar to meet the beneficiaries of a power distribution system upgrade and expansion project, which was also financed by the lender.
The tentative investment will be co-financed by the World Bank, said Laurel.
Of the fund, the AIIB and the WB will contribute $130 million each and the Bangladesh government will chip in $10 million.
The project will be implemented from March 2019 to March 2024, according to the project proposal.
Currently, the AIIB has provided a total of $274 million in funding to three projects in Bangladesh. The Distribution System Upgrade and Expansion project is one of them and was completed in June this year.
The project is part of a national plan to provide about 2.5 million service connections to rural consumers, upgrade two grid substations and convert 85 kilometres of overhead distribution lines into underground cables.
The installation of the connections has been completed and about 12.5 million Bangladeshis are directly benefiting from the project, said SM Zafar Sadeque, chief engineer of Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board.
“We have provided electricity connections to 2.5 million new consumers under the project.”
The cost per connection was Tk 600, Sadeque told reporters during a meeting between the AIIB delegates and beneficiaries.
However, the beneficiaries complained that they had paid Tk 5,000 to Tk 10,000 per connection.
In response, Sadeque said local vested quarters had taken the extra money.
The AIIB delegates included directors Veronika Baumgartner-Putz, Emil Levendoḡlu, and Mark Dennis YC Joven and alternate directors Nikolai Putscher, Md Zahidul Haque and Prashant Goyal.
The AIIB is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia and beyond.
It began operations in January 2016 and has now grown to 87 approved members from around the world.