ADB approves US$5 million grant to improve urban service delivery in Nauru


    The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US$5 million grant to expand and improve water supply, sanitation, and waste management services in Nauru.

    The grant will partly fund the assessment, planning, and capacity building needed to implement the proposed Nauru Sustainable Urban Development Project. The planned US$20 million project will increase access to and improve the quality and safety of essential urban services for about 2,150 households on the island.

    “ADB will use its innovative project readiness facility to fast track this project while developing engineering designs and procurement plans,” said ADB Pacific Department’s Urban Water and Sanitation Division Director Jingmin Huang. “This preparatory work aligns with Nauru’s National Sustainable Development Strategy, 2019–2030 and the Nauru Integrated Infrastructure Strategic Plan.”

    Under the preparatory phase of the project announced today, a team will be established within the government to provide specialist advice, undertake planning, and coordinate funding to address a series of interrelated urban problems.

    At present, Nauru does not have piped water. Some people have rainwater tanks, others rely on desalinated water deliveries or bottled water, which are expensive, or groundwater, which can be contaminated by ineffective sanitation systems or dumped waste. Fluctuating rainfall and the likelihood of increasing droughts further threaten the water security of Nauru’s growing population. Households similarly rely on on-site sanitation systems, which may be damaged, leaking, or improperly maintained, leading to groundwater contamination and risking disease outbreaks. The collection and processing of household waste is also inadequate. Many households dispose of waste through burning or dumping.

    The project planning team will produce a climate-sensitive, whole-of-island urban development plan and strategy in response to these problems. The team will consider the feasibility of introducing metered, piped water; institutional strengthening and investments to make household sanitation systems safe and effective; and measures to reduce the volume of solid waste, including reuse and recycling.

    The team will also develop policies and build capacities that will be needed to manage new facilities and deliver improved services.

    The US$5 million grant is sourced from ADB’s Asian Development Fund. The Government of Nauru is contributing US$210,000.