The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Brazil’s Ministry of Cities signed a loan contract worth US$ 95.479 million to commence the Social Action Program in Sanitation (PASS-IDB).
The funds should be disbursed over a period of four years and six months. The loan can be repaid in up to 25 years.
The purpose of the program is to improve and expand water supply and sewage services for low-income residents of cities with populations of 15-75 thousand and where the Human Development Index (HDI) is below the national average.
“The program will cover about 120 Brazilian municipalities,” informed the National Secretary of Environmental Sanitation, Abelardo de Oliveira Filho.
Since 2003 the federal government has earmarked US$ 1.48 billion (4.3 billion reais) for municipal and state governments and public utility companies to use on projects to construct and expand systems for water supply, sewage treatment, adequate garbage disposal, and drainage. The amount represents nearly double what was spent during the period 1995-2002, Oliveira Filho informed.
More than 90 million Brazilians do not have sewage collection and treatment. Over 45 million do not have potable water. And 15 million do not have garbage collection.
That was the portrait presented just last maonth by Oliveira Filho, speaking at the eighth regional seminar to discuss a draft bill on environmental sanitation. The seminar took place at the Legislative Assembly of São Paulo.
“We want to send a bill to Congress that will guarantee all Brazilians, in the shortest time possible, access to potable water and a life of quality in a healthy enviroment,” said Oliveira Filho.
The secretary went on to say that it is the obligation of the government to define guidelines and policies after listening to the voice of all the people””the business sector, the labor sector, social movements, consumers, the academic community, regulatory agencies and others.