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Financing of sanitation projects in Africa: AfWA and the AfDB discussing future partnership

Monday, 28 August 2017
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The African Development Bank (AfDB) through the African Water Facility and with the financial support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation wants to release funds for the African Water Association (AfWA).

This new budget support jointly disbursed by the two development institutions is intended to finance sanitation projects in the five cities benefiting from the RASOP program. RASOP, or the Reinforcing the capacity of African Sanitation Operators Program, works towards the optimization of infrastructure investments and is financed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and implemented by AfWA.

The list of five projects financed and the terms of disbursement should be known by December 2017. This is a result of the meeting on July 26, 2017 at the AfWA Headquarters in Abidjan Cocody between representatives of AfDB and AfWA.

The AfWA Programs Director welcomed AfDB’s willingness to support the development of the sanitation sector in Africa, a sector almost left behind. In many countries on the continent only 20 percent of the population has access to adequate sanitation services in urban areas. In developing countries in general and in Africa in particular, the access to adequate sanitation remains a luxury for a large portion of the population. As a result, 2.4 billion people globally, including 700 million in sub-Saharan Africa, do not have improved sanitation facilities. These numbers continue to increase due to population growth according to the UNICEF/WHO 2015 report.

For sharing the successful African experiences in the domain of non-sewered sanitation, AfWA has applied to the fecal sludge management sub-sector the principles of WOP (Water Operators Partnerships), which was implemented in the drinking water sector during 2009-2014. Therefore, a joint partnership (2016-2018) called “Sanitation Operators Partnership (SOP)” is dedicated specifically to the sanitation sector in general and to fecal sludge management in particular. The SOPs are implemented through the RASOP project using peer-to-peer learning partnerships. Through this project, AfWA seeks to promote the development of fecal sludge management strategies and the identification of non-sewer sanitation projects in five cities: Bamako (Mali), Yamoussoukro (Côte d’Ivoire); Yaoundé (Cameroon), Kampala (Uganda) and Lusaka (Zambia).

The issue of sanitation will also be honored during the 19th AfWA International Congress and Exhibition on February 11-16, 2018 in Bamako, Mali. During this congress, the theme of which is “Accelerating Access to Sanitation and Water for all in Africa in the face of Climate Change,” a whole day will be devoted to sanitation. The opportunity for AfDB to launch their platform for investment in the sanitation sector, said Jean Michel Ossete, the Interim Coordinator of the African Water Facility.