Odisha, Feb 23, Abhijit Saha: The World Bank Board of Executive Directors has approved a credit of $153 million to the state of Odisha in India today. This credit is approved to help the state build disaster resilient houses as well as strengthen its capacity for disaster risk management after the severe cyclone that hit the state last year.
Earlier on 12th October 2013, Cyclone Phailin hit the coast of Odisha near Gopalpur in Ganjam district. The cyclone affected about 13.2 million people in Odisha. The government of Odisha in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) managed to evacuate over a million people. Due to this huge procedure loss of human lives was limited to 44. Odisha State Management Authority (OSDMA) which was formed after the 1999 Super Cyclone played a major role in improving the capacity of Odisha in responding to the recent disaster.
The Super Cyclone that the state experienced in 1999 was of similar intensity where more than 10,000 people were killed and 275,000 homes were destroyed and left 1.67 million homeless in the state.
The Government of India requested a Joint World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB) team to conduct a Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (RDNA) to rebuild the state’s infrastructure and assets lost in the October disaster. The RDNA was conducted in close collaboration with the Government of Odisha and estimated the physical damages across a range of sectors and calculated the cost of reconstruction at about $1.45 billion.
Sectors covered in the assessment included housing and public buildings; urban and rural infrastructure; roads; energy/power; livelihood; agriculture; and forest and plantations. The World Bank country director in India Onno Ruhl said that this project will focus on both reconstruction and disaster preparedness and will help the State government by rebuilding houses including related infrastructure like roads, sanitation and, water supply and power.
Assistance from the World Bank has been sought in slum improvements, rebuilding houses and capacity building of the disaster risk management institutions. This project will also help to improve urban infrastructure in Berhampur which is the largest city in Ganjam district and will enhance the technical capacity of the state for managing future disaster risks. The project will focus on improving the living condition of the people living in this city with better drainage system to reduce floods, access to improved water and sanitation services and better streets and street lighting.
Projects will also be taken that will help enhance OSDMA’s role in coordinating disaster risk mitigation related activities with other line departments and integrate it into the overall development work of the state. The project will also focus on better adaptation and preparedness for the future through complementary investments on enhancing risk mitigation capabilities of the responsible institutions.
The credit for this project will be financed by the International Development Association (IDA) which a part of World Bank that helps poorest countries of the world and provides interest free loans with 25 years to maturity with a 5 years grace period.