As part of efforts to improve access to safe drinking water and sanitation, the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank last Friday disclosed that it approved $124.2 million loan to finance the Urban Water Sector Reform and Akure Water Supply and Sanitation Project in the country.
The amount according to bank also includes an African Growing Together Fund (AGTF) loan of $20 million.
The overall project cost is $222.69 million and will span five years from 2020-2025.
A statement by the AfDB, “the project is set to address bottlenecks in critical water supply services to households in the densely populated project area.
“It would provide residents of Akure city (Ondo State) and its environs, access to safe drinking water and sanitation. The project will strengthen the Federal Government’s capacity to facilitate urban Water Supply and Sanitation reforms.”
“The project will particularly contribute to improving the living conditions of the communities in the project area. Involving these communities in the public awareness and marketing activities, will increase the project’s ownership and ensure they pay for the water supply and sanitation services,” said Ebrima Faal, Senior Director at the Bank’s Nigeria Regional Office.
The Bank stressed the loan would also help to install sanitation infrastructure for schools, hospitals, and markets.
On completion, the project is expected to benefit the 1.3 million residents of Akure City and its vicinities.
“At the Federal level, the project’s Urban Water Reform component will establish a water and sanitation investment program that would contribute to scaling up of the National WASH Action plan 2018-2030.
“The project, which combines ‘hard’ water, sanitation and environmental protection infrastructure with ‘soft’ analytical and institutional reform support, aligns with the Bank’s Ten-Year Strategy (TYS) and its High 5s priority areas, the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Policy.
“As at December 13 2019, the Bank’s active portfolio in Nigeria comprised 61 operations, of which 54 are national and seven are regional. The total commitment to these projects is $4.8 billion and includes water and sanitation projects worth $606.0 million.”