US $124.2m loan has been approved by African Development Bank to finance the Urban Water Sector Reform and Akure Water Supply and Sanitation Project in Nigeria.
Ebrima Faal, Senior Director at the Bank’s Nigeria Regional Office made the announcement and said that the amount includes an African Growing Together Fund (AGTF) loan of US $20m.
The project whose overall cost is US $223m is aimed to address bottlenecks in critical water supply services to households in the densely populated project area. The funds will also see installation of sanitation infrastructure for schools, hospitals, markets.
It is scheduled to take five years for completion, upon which it will benefit the 1.3 million residents of Akure City and vicinity. 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.
Poor access to improved water and sanitation
“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.
Poor access to improved water and sanitation in Nigeria remains a major contributing factor to high morbidity and mortality rates among children under five. The use of contaminated drinking water and poor sanitary conditions result in increased vulnerability to water-borne diseases, including diarrhoea which leads to deaths of more than 70,000 children under five annually.