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World Bank Grants $363m Loan to Karnataka for Clean Drinking Water Supply

World Bank supports clean drinking water supply to rural Karnataka: The World Bank has approved a USD 363 million loan to the Indian state of Karnataka, which will help provide clean drinking water to two million rural households. The initiative aims to install piped water connections in homes across the state, as well as build a drinking water distribution network and install water metres. The project is set to benefit around 10 million people across all 31 districts in the state. The loan is part of the Karnataka Sustainable Rural Water Supply Program, which seeks to introduce policies and initiatives that will improve the operational efficiency of rural water supply services.

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World Bank promotes gender parity in access to clean water

The state of Karnataka is vulnerable to climate change-related variable rainfall, leading to groundwater depletion and deteriorating water quality. Because nearly 77% of the state is arid or semi-arid, the need for a reliable water supply is even more pressing. The World Bank’s loan is part of its efforts to address the issue, with a particular focus on promoting gender parity. Women, who typically bear the greatest burden of fetching water, will benefit significantly from the program. They will have better health and more time to pursue education and formal employment opportunities.

Program to revive 500 rural water reservoirs, provide skills training

The loan, which comes from the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), uses the Program-for-Results (PforR) financing instrument. This means that funds will be distributed only when specific programme outcomes are met. The loan has a maturity of 13.5 years, with a two-year grace period. The Karnataka Sustainable Rural Water Supply Program aims to revive 500 rural water reservoirs in seven water-stressed districts, which will help to increase water storage capacity and groundwater recharge. Approximately 3,000 rural women will receive on-the-job training to become plumbers. Additionally, the program will seek to demonstrate 24/7 water supply service in at least 500 Gram Panchayats, and enhance the capacity of rural local governments to manage water supply services efficiently.

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