CDIA Outlines Holistic Approach for Tackling Water Challenges in Khulna City

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Khulna, a key city in Bangladesh, faces challenges in water supply due to increasing salinity and population growth. Through a project preparation study (PPS), CDIA is working with the Khulna Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (KWASA) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to prepare an investment program that will help the city meet its current and future water supply demand.

To ensure that the water issues will be addressed adequately and appropriately, the CDIA team will employ an integrated approach, which they presented, along with project updates, at the inception workshop held on 2 August 2023 in Khulna City.

CDIA team leader Sunil Karn explained that they will consider strategic elements such as coordination, sustainable and optimum design, risk-sensitive planning, climate resilience, and inclusive and participatory planning to address the PPS requirements in a comprehensive manner.

In terms of coordination, they will align their efforts with partners to facilitate the smooth implementation of the PPS and elicit stakeholder buy-in for the proposed interventions.

They will also aim for gender mainstreaming and participatory planning to encourage the active involvement of women and other vulnerable groups and ensure that the project effectively addresses local needs and gender-specific issues in the water supply sector.

CDIA will also strive for sustainable and optimum design so that the project is not only functional and adaptable but also environmentally friendly, cost-efficient, and with maximum positive impact.

Furthermore, the team will consider climate resilience and risk-sensitive planning. As such, they will conduct assessments to mitigate potential risks and in particular, ensure that the water supply system is resilient to climate change.

Alongside these critical elements, CDIA will look at climate change resilience and strategy, water supply and management, social safeguards, environmental safeguard framework, institutional development, and financial and economic considerations. They will do so in the two stages of the PPS, comprising Stage 1: Rapid assessment, sub-project prioritization, and the preparation of capacity development road maps; and Stage 2: Feasibility studies for the priority water supply sub-project components.

“The PPS will serve as the foundation for the long-term investment program of the city,” said Brian Capati, CDIA Urban Development Specialist managing the Khulna PPS. “That is why a holistic and multi-disciplinary approach is critical so that the project is not only feasible technically and institutionally, but also considers the broader social, environmental, and economic aspects,” he added.

At the inception phase, the CDIA team was able to complete the following activities: meetings with key stakeholders, review of existing reports and studies, site visits, data collection, initial planning to mitigate salinity and other issues, and the development of project outline and preliminary cost estimation. Following these activities, the team will conduct social and geotechnical surveys, develop an institutional and capacity development roadmap, and collect remaining secondary data at the next phase of the PPS.


See related story: CDIA Marks the Start of its Project Preparation Study to Expand Water Supply in Khulna City

Photos during the inception workshop:

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