Washington, 28 May 1997 (RFE/RL) - The World Bank has approved two loans for Turkmenistan which will launch major public infrastructure projects -- rehabilitated and expanded transportation in the cities of Ashghabat, Mary and Chardjou, and fresh water supplies to seven cities and 47 villages in the Dashkhovuz Velayet region most heavily affected by the Aral Sea environmental crisis.
The bank says the $30.3 million loan for the water and sanitation project will bring safe, reliable water supplies to nearly 300,000 people, including 62,000 who will be getting their first-ever piped water system. The project includes sanitation and hygiene work in the schools and technical assistance in building local systems.
The bank's $34.2 million loan for urban transport will purchase 90 new buses and 40 new trolley buses, in addition to refurbishing the present bus fleets in the three cities. The project will also establish a metropolitan transport organization in Ashghabat and encourage private participation in public transport services.