Border communities hit hard by COVID-19 to get money for environmental projects


Industrial waste suds are carried by the New River, reportedly the most polluted river in the US, as it flows through the US/Mexico border fence from Mexico on March 25, 2005 in Calexico, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — The North American Development Bank has approved $200 million for border communities economically devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The money will come from both the U.S and Mexican governments.

Most of the funds are earmarked for environmental projects that have direct impacts on the economy along the U.S.-Mexico border. Some of the money is to be spent on health and well-being of border residents.

North American Development Bank Board of Directors. (Courtesy NADB)

The city of Mexicali, Baja California’s capital, will get almost $7 million to finance a wastewater system replacing almost 40,000 feet of deteriorated pipelines and to rehabilitate three lift stations in the wastewater collection system.

The current system is plagued with malfunctions spilling approximately 33.1 million gallons per day of uncontrolled wastewater that flows into the U.S via the New River.

“The Mexicali project addresses a significant risk of failure in the wastewater collection system, reducing the risk of exposure to raw wastewater and benefitting 557,000 residents of Mexicali, as well as contaminated flows to the New River,” stated NADB Chief Environmental Officer, Salvador López.

The NADB says it is supporting and financing projects with environmental benefits as a way to promote the creation or preservation of jobs, betterment of health and/or health services, or improvement of technological connectivity and access to information in times of environmental and health catastrophes.

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