Thanks to significant financial support from the World Bank, Belarusians are set to gain access to more efficient solid waste disposal services and water, sanitation.
According to the World Bank, the €90 million in financing for the Belarus Utility Efficiency and Quality Improvement Project, which has recently been approved by its Board of Executive Directors, will pilot a regional approach to solid waste management.
The initiative includes construction of the Polotsk/Novopolotsk Regional Landfill and similar facilities in other towns across the country.
New landfills will replace existing mini-landfills that have no environmental controls, to ensure safe disposal of solid waste. In addition, several studies will be undertaken on the development of the waste management sector, along with public communications campaigns to raise environmental awareness.
The cash injections will also support Belarus’ national “Clean Water” program, which is expected to also receive investment from the European Investment Bank.
“Belarus has invested heavily to ensure people have access to adequate utility services. But, infrastructure is aging, while some utility companies are less efficient than others,” said Alex Kremer, World Bank Country Manager for Belarus. “With this project, we seek not only to upgrade infrastructure but also to help utility companies provide better services at a lower cost.”
The World Bank said that around 550,000 Belarusians from across the country will enjoy a cleaner environment and better quality drinking water.
“The project will help contribute to improving people’s lives, as well as protecting the environment,” said Stjepan Gabric, Project Task Team Leader. “Ensuring all Belarusians have access to affordable, efficient, and high-quality water and solid waste services is a key goal of the Government, which the World Bank actively supports.”
The Bank has also been involved in a national policy dialogue on solid waste management, through the Integrated Solid Waste Management Project, and through various analyses.
Change Management' The Answer for Waste and Recycling Strategies in the Former U.S.S.R.?
The transitional economies of the countries of the Former Soviet Union are undergoing, or are at least attempting to undergo, a paradigm change as they evolve to the free market economics which prevails throughout the developed world.