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AfDB improving water and sanitation services in Africa

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Kigali: The African Development Bank (AfDB) has immensely contributed to closing the financial gap on water and sanitation services in Africa through two of its flagship water initiatives: the African Water Facility (AWF) supporting 104 projects in 52 countries and the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI) supporting 37 active programs in 25 African countries.

Marked as one of the leading financial partner, the Bank continues to finance its projects and programs through its main financing windows of ADB and ADF loans and grants. By the end of 2016, the AfDB’s active portfolio was worth over USD 2.6 billion, from 68 projects in 38 countries across the continent. The value of the portfolio for the Eastern Region, spread over nine countries, as at 30 November 2016 was USD 364 million, of which USD 321 million (or 88%) was in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

The dedicated Department of Water Development and Sanitation spearheads the knowledge, coordination and innovative financing aspects of water supply, sanitation and wastewater management in the Bank’s Strategy in Africa to contribute to ‘improvement in the quality of life of the people’. The Bank has consistently increased its investment volumes in water and sanitation over the years, demonstrating greater focus on financing and innovative water, sanitation and waste management approaches.

The importance of water to human development and poverty alleviation in Africa is expressed clearly in the strategic focus areas of the Bank called The High 5s – Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.

‘Water is central to the achievement of all the High 5s. As the global community pivots to the implementation of these new goals, there is an acknowledgment that without transformative action in the management of water resources in Africa, it will be considerably difficult to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal and the Bank’s High 5s” said Gabriel Negatu, AfDB East Africa Regional Hub Director General.

The financing gap for water and sanitation is between US$ 6-14 billion per year, almost half of the total funding requirement. The Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI), a pan-African response is helping close this gap and address the rural water and sanitation crisis. It represents USD1.5 billion of AfDB financing commitments and is supported by a multi-donor Trust Fund with paid-in contributions of USD216 million. Approved projects under this initiative have already contributed to improved access to drinking water for an estimated 97 million people and improved sanitation for an estimated 70 million people.

The Africa Water Facility (AWF) on the other hand has mobilized USD180 million from 15 bilateral, multilateral financial institutions, foundations and African governments to projects across Africa.

In Kenya, the Athi Water Services Board received a USD3.4 million grant to introduce sanitation services in Mukuru and other informal settlements through social business ventures.  Kisumu Water and Sewage Company (KIWASCO) received a grant of USD1.4 million to support an innovative project that will provide sanitation services for residents in the Manyatta settlement in Kisumu. More money has gone into water harvesting and water conservation.

In Uganda, the Uganda’s National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) received a USD 950,000 grant to undertake an integrated project of water and sanitation services to the mainly low-income community of Kagugube Parish. The Community Integrated Development Initiatives (CIDI) received a USD1.2 million grant to provide sanitation facilities for households, schools and the urban poor areas in Kawampe. More money has gone into water harvesting and water resources conservation.

In Tanzania, the Arusha Municipal Council received a USD 777,000 grant to formulate a Strategic Sanitation Plan Development intended to close the sanitation services and investment gaps in the town. USD4.8 million grant has gone to support the development of Songwe River Basin. Plans are underway to grant a multipurpose dam, irrigation and hydropower project in Kikonge.

In May, AfDB signed loan and grant agreements to the tune of US $5.6 million for additional resources to Ethiopia’s One Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Program. The Bank’s support focuses on the rural and pastoralist areas and is timely in the light of the drought that is being experienced in the horn of Africa.

All grants go towards building various water stakeholders’ capacities, plan and design, finance, implementation and management of water and sanitation projects and infrastructure. The projects benefit the communities through improved water supply and sanitation services, improved environmental conditions resulting in improved standards of living. The local economy will also gain from a better Water and Sanitation sector management as local farmers and industries get improved access to water for production and reduced production cost. (End)


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