Sindh and IFC to Provide Clean Drinking Water to 1 Million People

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has signed a landmark agreement to help Sindh province structure a public-private partnership project that will provide clean drinking water to nearly 1 million people in Karachi.

Under the agreement, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will advise the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB), a government of Sindh entity, on structuring and tendering a project to build new infrastructure to boost the city’s water supply. The project, which will be executed by a private company, will include water treatment facilities and a bulk water conveyance system. That system will supply Karachi with 65 million gallons of water per day from Keenjhar Lake, some 140 kilometers away.

“By bringing in the private sector to develop and operate a bulk water supply system, more people will have access to the water they need. The project will provide the framework for future greenfield water infrastructure projects,“ said Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah.

Pakistan ranks third globally for acute water shortages, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The latest agreement follows another public-private partnership for an advisory agreement between IFC and KWSB last year, which included the rehabilitation and maintenance of a 100 MGD canal, a water treatment plant, and a pumping station.

The project is Pakistan’s first greenfield water supply initiative carried out under a public-private partnership.

“Water scarcity in Karachi has affected residents and hampered businesses for years. Improved infrastructure is critical to fixing this,” said Stephanie von Friedeburg, IFC’s Senior Vice President, Operations.

“This project demonstrates the power of the private sector to help governments modernize infrastructure, jumpstart economic growth and improve the lives of everyday people,” he added.

The project is part of the World Bank Group’s strategy in Pakistan to support private sector development and accelerate improvements in public service delivery. It also complements the World Bank-sponsored $1.6 billion Karachi Water and Sewerage Services Investment Project, which aims to improve KWSB’s efficiency and sustainability.