The loan will support the Cartagena Water Supply, Sewage and Environmental Management Project, which will improve living standards and reduce urban pollution throughout the city.

The Project aims to improve the water and sewerage services of Cartagena and the sanitary conditions of the city’s poorest residents by expanding water and sewerage coverage, particularly in the city’s poorest and most under-served neighborhoods. The project will also facilitate the environmental cleanup of the bay of Cartagenta, Cienaga Lake, and the surrounding Caribbean coastline by providing for the adequate collection, treatment, and disposal of the entire flow of the city’s wastewater.

Current sewerage coverage in Cartagena is limited. Nearly one-third of the population, most in poor neighborhoods, are without running water and basic sanitation services. As a result of lack of sewerage networks in the poorer neighborhoods surrounding Cienaga lake, raw sewage can often be found flowing in the streets.

Lack of sewage services and the contamination of Cartagena Bay and the surrounding coastline and lakes have not only generated severe hazards in public health, sanitation, and environmental problems, but are a serious impediment to the sustainable economic development of Cartagena, whose economy depends heavily on tourism. The insufficiency of water and sewage services in the city have forced authorities to constrain real estate construction activities until the sanitation problem is resolved.

“Before the project is finished, over 750,000 Cartagena residents will be receiving an improved, reliable water supply service and will benefit from a new wastewater treatment and disposal system that will clean up Cartagena’s bay and beaches, as well as Cienaga lake,” says project task manager Menahem Libhaber.

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