The loan will help finance the construction of 77 kilometers of drainage systems for rainwater to prevent flooding and the relocation of about 1,100 low-income families now living in hazardous areas. It will also support the construction of roads and parks along drainage channels in the second most populated of the city’s 13 urban watersheds.
“Residents will have access to treated water and that will contribute to reduce water transmitted diseases among children and adults,’’ said IDB project team leader Fernando Bretas. “Quality of life will improve significantly for the poor.’’ Belém, located in Brazil’s Amazon region, has seen its population double in the past 30 years without the accompanying investments in infrastructure and urban planning. The loan is part efforts by the bank and the local government to improve living conditions in the city, which has 35 percent of its land prone to flooding. In 2004, the IDB completed the disbursement of a US$149 million loan to Belém to finance a similar sanitation project in Una watershed, which benefitted 176,000 people.
The loan, which accounts for the 50 percent of the total cost of the Estrada Nova project, has a five-year disbursement and grace period. It is denominated in U.S. dollars and will be repaid in 25 years.