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CEB finances regional water supply project in Bosnia and Herzegovina

20 June 2016

PARIS – The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) at its Administrative Council meeting on 17 June decided to co-finance the “Plava Voda” regional water supply project, which represents a total investment of € 30 million. This is the first regional water project in Bosnia and Herzegovina, involving two cantons and several municipalities. 

The purpose of the CEB loan is to co-finance the reconstruction of the water intake facility at the Plava Voda source in the municipality of Travnik, and the construction of a 33 km pipeline from the source to the municipality of Zenica. The project also involves the construction of supporting facilities in order to connect the pipeline to existing water distribution networks in the municipalities concerned (Travnik, Novi Travnik, Vitez, Busovaca, and Zenica). 

Unreliable water supply and the poor quality of water are a major problem in the region, with serious financial and health consequences for a large part of the population. Unsafe drinking water is a cause of waterborne diseases and severe infections. It is estimated that local residents pay annually € 1.6 million in “substitution costs”, such as the purchase of bottled water. 

The Plava Voda project will provide close to 250 000 persons in five municipalities, or 6% of the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a continuous supply of safe drinking water, which will have significant public health benefits. 

The CEB is co-financing this project with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The project is also benefiting from a € 2.5 million grant from the Swedish Development Agency (SIDA) and has secured a further € 1 million in grants from the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF). 

“Access to clean drinking water is a basic human need. The Plava Voda project will ensure that there are adequate water treatment and distribution facilities in the region and will provide one quarter of a million inhabitants with uninterrupted access to good quality water. I welcome our cooperation with the EBRD on this important project,” said CEB Governor Rolf Wenzel.

Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 41 member states. Twenty-two Central, Eastern and South Eastern European countries, forming the Bank's target countries, are listed among the member states. As a major instrument of the policy of solidarity in Europe, the Bank finances social projects by making available resources raised in conditions reflecting the quality of its rating (Aa1 with Moody's, outlook stable, AA+ with Standard & Poor's, outlook stable and AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook stable). It thus grants loans to its member states, and to financial institutions and local authorities in its member states for the financing of projects in the social sector, in accordance with its Articles of Agreement.

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