Project Monitoring [ADB]
COMMUNITY-BASED INFRASTRUCTURE SERVICES SECTOR
A lot of villages in the Kyrgyz Republic do not have clean water. That’s why the Kyrgyz government asked the ADB for a loan amounting to US$36 million in 2001. The project was supposed to finish by 2007 but it did not.
The first project that was initiated involved the provision of infrastructure services at a settlement area amounting to US$45 million. The ADB will provide a loan amounting to US$36 million; the government of the Kyrgyz Republic through co-financing will shoulder the remaining US$9 million.
The second project amounting to US$24.5 million is the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation. This includes a US$15-million loan from the World Bank, a grant from the Department of International Development in the amount of $US6.25 million and co-financing of the government of the Kyrgyz Republic in the amount of US$3.25 million.
The problems that arose during the monitoring turned out to be the same with regard to the whole country.
The mission of our organization is to promote the improvement of the economic, social, and ecological state of vulnerable groups of the population by protecting their rights and promoting their interests. As this mission coincided with the goals of the projects, CO “Taza-Tabigat” (Ivanovka village, Chui Oblast) held the preliminary consultations with the stakeholders. The organization determined the need to monitor the activities under the “Taza-Suu Project”.
HEALTH AND SANITATION
At the beginning of the project, villagers did not understand what co-financing was all about. They had to pay five percent of the cost of water services. The collection of money has violated the civil code that says, “that all rendered services should be confirmed in writing and receipts should be provided upon payment of such services”. The money was collected from the villagers without any explanation of how it would be spent. The use of their money by local authorities has caused outrage. Worse, some of the villagers who contributed paid the cost of services did not become the beneficiaries of the project. To say the least, the people were not happy with the project due to the unsatisfactory implementation of the project.
K.A. of Uch-Emchek village said, “before the implementation of the project, people drank water from irrigation ditch (ask)”. But instead of improving the quality of water deteriorated, it is not chlorinated.
On winter and rainy season, loam and dung are present in the water, during the first two years of operation of the project, 20 children contracted jaundice hepatitis (Botkin’s disease), including K.A’s child. All this happened due to the bad water quality. There are all necessary documents that prove the cases of Botkin’s disease in their village.
On 19 June 2007, the people of Uch-Achmed village decided to act on the bad quality of water. The chairman of the Association of Water Users, which is responsible for water supply, organized a cleanup of the pipelines. They were surprised to find parasites, called hairworms, in the water. They have kept some samples.
After the 2005 revolution, the new government decided to initiate criminal cases against the contractors of the project. According to the General Prosecutor’s office, there were 18 counts of criminal cases for the period 2004-2006 amounting to 47 million some. The compensation for the damage during the investigation was only 4 million soms. Still, none of the high government officials have been punished. The local offices of the World Bank and the ADB were not satisfied with the findings of the prosecutor’s office.
THE BIDDING PROCESS
Another problem is the bidding process. Projects are often won by contractors that don’t have the professional experience and workers who should possess the necessary skills for project implementation. Moreover, the execution of the project was not done in accordance with the Kyrgyz laws and regulations, but in accordance with the policies of the ADB.
The prosecutor’s office submitted its consolidated report to the parliament on 28 June 2007. The Parliament created a special group for the implementation of this project in November 2006. However, the public was not satisfied with the implementation of the project.
The report of the prosecutor’s office was made publicly available due to political bias of the Parliament. There is evidence that such actions were made to receive the second portion of the ADB loan despite the failure of the project.
At present, CO “Taza-Tabigat” continues to monitor the project.