World Bank Invests $1B in Indian River Cleanup

People bathing in Ganga river in India. The World Bank has committed $1 billion to conserve the river. Photo by: Yusuke Kawasaki / CC BY

The World Bank has committed $1 billion to boost efforts to conserve India’s Ganga river, which accounts for a fourth of the country’s water resources.

The river, which many of the 400 million residents in the Ganga basin consider as a living goddess, faces extreme pollution due to the significant volume of untreated or poorly treated effluents discharged there.

“Earlier efforts to clean the Ganga concentrated on a few highly polluting towns and centers and addressed ‘end-of-the-pipe’ wastewater treatment there; Mission Clean Ganga builds on lessons from the past, and will look at the entire Gangetic basin while planning and prioritizing investments instead of the earlier town-centric approach,” said Venu Rajamony, joint secretary at India’s Department of Economic Affairs, as quoted in a World Bank news release.

The World Bank financing will back the National Ganga River Basin Project, which seeks to strengthen the capacity of the National Ganga River Basin Authority to oversee the cleanup and conservation program targeting Ganga, and support priority investments that are necessary to curb pollution in the river.

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  • Eliza Villarino

    Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.