Bishkek Steps Up Delivery of Infrastructure and Services in Five Settlements

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Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyz Republic, is challenged by the propagation of unplanned settlements and the socio-economic problems associated with rapid urbanization and the COVID-19 pandemic.

With support from CDIA and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the city government is set to accelerate the delivery of basic infrastructure and urban services in five pilot substandard settlements, where at least 75,000 urban poor are expected to benefit from enhanced living conditions.

“UNECE introduced us to the city officials who then took interest in applying for our technical assistance, following their attendance to the CDIA Virtual Clinic,” shares Kathleen Jovellanos, Project Manager of the Bishkek Project. “Aside from identifying the investments for the five sites, we will demonstrate how similar efforts can be done in the other 42 substandard settlements in the city.”

Bishkek’s population is now at 1.05 million and it is expected to grow by 40% over the next 15 years. About 47 to 53 substandard settlements have proliferated, and in most areas, there is limited access to water, sanitation, roads, drainage, education and healthcare services as well as employment opportunities. The impacts of COVID-19 have also been severe, especially for majority of informal workers and poor households, who suffered unemployment and financial stress due to COVID-19.

The CDIA-supported project on Integrated Development of Substandard Settlements in Bishkek (IDSSB) was developed to facilitate integrated and inclusive urban development in the five pilot areas, namely: Kalys-Ordo, Ak-Bosogo, Archa-Beshik, Bakai-Ata and Rukhiy-Muras to ensure the inclusion of the urban poor in the improvement of infrastructure and social services in the city. It is expected to improve public health through the provision of waste management and water supply services at the same time offer opportunities for local economic development and employment through the setting up of industrial and logistics centers.

CDIA’s project preparation study (PPS) will support the city to identify and prepare, to pre-feasibility and preliminary engineering design levels, priority infrastructure projects that can be implemented in the pilot areas. Its consulting team will likewise conduct climate vulnerability assessments to determine the climate change adaptation and mitigation measures that can be integrated in the design of the civil works.

“With the city highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, we will seek to shift infrastructure planning from designing strengthened structure to designing resilient systems that address systemic weaknesses and institutional constraints,” says Kathleen.

A strong component of the PPS is the review and assessment of the institutional capacities of implementing agencies and related institutions, which will lead to the preparation of a capacity building and institutional development roadmap. CDIA will give due consideration to capacity development needs in Bishkek, including institutional, organizational, and human resource enhancement.

The study is expected to commence in June 2022.


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