The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 approved a loan of US $76.11 million from the AfDB financing window to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia for the implementation of the Four Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Improvement Program.
The four program beneficiary towns are Adama in Oromiya Regional State, Adwa in Tigray Regional State, Bichena in Amhara Regional State and Gode in Somali Regional State. The program aims to improve the health and socio-economic development of the residents of the four towns through increased access to sustainable water supply and sanitation services and improvement in service delivery. The aggregate average water supply and sanitation access in the four beneficiary towns is estimated at 53% for water supply and 76% for sanitation and the program plans to increase both to 100% by 2020, benefiting 635,000 residents of the towns and approximately 227,000 people in other nearby villages, towns and rural population indirectly.
The project aims at increasing the water production capacities, improvement in distribution systems, provision of public latrines, improvement in collection and disposal of faecal sludge and capacity development of the regional water bureaus and utilities. The program’s outcomes include increased household access to water supply; increased access to sanitation facilities; improved reliability and continuity of water supply services and improvement in revenue collection efficiency. The availability of sustainable water supply will help also to increase the private sectors involvement in the towns. These outcomes, combined, will result in a reduction in water borne diseases and spur the development of the towns.
The program is part of the Government’s Second Growth and Transformation Plan (2016-2020) in which the water sector has been accorded high importance. The plan seeks, not only to increase access, but also quality of service and standards thereby improving the quality of life of people. The program will be implemented within the framework of the One WaSH National Program (OWNP) in which the Bank, partnering with other Development Partners, is participating with funding approved in 2014 to the tune of UA 66.8 million (approximately US $92.57 million) for the rural component of that program. The resources from the Bank will be channeled through the Water Resources Development Fund (WRDF) under the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity to the beneficiary utilities.
The project implementation will take 48 months and it will be executed by WRDF with the Regional Water Bureaus as implementing agencies.