Signing Ceremony for the AFD’s loan towards the Gandharbpur Project
Project: Dhaka Environmentally Sustainable Water Supply Project
Total cost of the project: 675 MUSD
AFD Loan amount: 47 MEUR
Other cofinanciers’ share:
Asian Development Bank: 250 MUSD (already signed)
European Investment Bank : 100 MEUR (already signed)
Context: second project signed by AFD in Bangladesh (after the BRT project)
Speech of the Ambassador
Dear guests, colleagues and friends,
It is a great pleasure for me to be part of this signing ceremony between the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and the French Bilateral Development Agency, “AFD”.
I will not go through the technical details of this convention, because all of you know them much more than I do. But I understand that, with the loan provided by AFD, the financing of Gandharbpur Project is closed.
This project is the construction of a new water treatment plant for Dhaka.
Mr Taqseem Khan gave me the opportunity to visit Saidabad 2 a few days ago. The French company Degrémont is managing Saidabad 1 and 2, and I must say that I was really impressed by what I saw there, and how together they manage to address the challenge of supplying water for the population of Dhaka.
As we discussed a few days ago with Mr Taqseem Khan, this target, providing all urban areas with safe water is a real challenge for Dhaka because the population is growing, and because it is essential to anticipate the future.
And here comes Gandharbpur. The project will allow the city of Dhaka to switch from ground water to surface water consumption.
It will help Bangladesh to tackle the challenges of the future, and one of them, perhaps the most important one, is related to climate change.
Bangladesh is one of the most exposed countries to these impacts, because it means lack of soil, lack of food and water sanitation and many other things, like rural migration to the cities.
As you know, Paris will host the International Climate Change Conference in December 2015. And Bangladesh and France develop a very similar vision to the priorities of this conference, and to the global strategy the world has to develop to face this so big challenge of climate change.
This loan, that you sign today, reflects France’s long-standing commitment in the water sector, here in Bangladesh.
France was present for the financing of the construction of Saidabad 1. We are also on your side with Degrémont for Saidabad 2, and for the Project Preparation of Saidabad 3, implemented by Egis consultants.
We are here because there is a clear political decision to come to Bangladesh, with your agreement of course, to be part of your progress towards 2021 and your goal to be a middle-income country.
And we are here, in the specific field of water, because we have a long experience, and very specialized and efficient companies, who have for long proved their capacity to work here, on your side.
After this signing, time has come for us to discuss with you the establishment of AFD, as a permanent agency here, and the Embassy will come back to you on this issue.
But once again, I thank you for your welcome and I hope to have many other opportunities to have such other ceremonies and to cooperate, in the mutual interest of our two countries.
I would like to thank ERD and all those who made this event happening today.