Thursday, June 1, 2023

UK inaugurates water supply, sanitation projects in Egypt, Senegal

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The United Kingdom government has announced the inauguration of the first two projects under its Room 2 Run guarantee programme.

The African Development Bank, AfDB, announced the projects on the sidelines of its on-going 2023 Annual Meetings in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the projects include an 80 million Euro Egyptian wastewater project and a 37 million Euro water sanitation project in Senegal.

According to the bank, both projects focus on water supply and sanitation and will offer benefits to millions in their respective African countries.

“The Room to Run Guarantee, first announced at COP-26, is a 2-billion-dollar guarantee provided to the AfDB by the UK with 1.6 billion dollars in cover, and with City of London insurers covering 400 million dollars.

“By partially protecting the Bank against the risk of default on some of its loans, the Room to Run Guarantee enables the Bank to provide an additional 2 billion dollars of climate finance to Africa by 2027. With a 50-50 split between adaptation and mitigation,’’ the bank said.

According to the bank, the Water Recycling for Agriculture in Egypt, Gabel El Asfar Wastewater Treatment Project, is the largest in Africa wastewater treatment plant.

The bank said this was in terms of capacity, adding that it was also the second largest in the world that produces up to 60 per cent of the electricity it needed for running the plant.

The AfDB said the project aimed to increase arable lands by 70,000 acres towards addressing the food security issues.

“The project will also increase access to safely managed sanitation services; increase wastewater treatment plant compliance standards, and create jobs, benefiting five million people.

“In Senegal, the Access to Safe Water and Sanitation Services to build sustainable resilience in disadvantaged Areas will reach 1.45 million people.

“Out of this, 51 per cent are women who will benefit from improved access to drinking water and sanitation,’’ it said.

AfDB Senior Vice President Bajabulile Tshabalala said that rising water and decreasing rainfall are among the climate change impacts threatening Senegal’s development goals.

“Today’s announcement is significant. We are looking forward to seeing how this risk financing helps these first projects reach measurable outcomes and impact the communities we serve,” she said.

The UK Minister of State for Development and Africa, Andrew Mitchell, said the projects were the kind of investments to unlock through Room2Run.

Mitchell said that the Senegal project would have an incredible impact on people’s health and livelihoods.

NAN reports that the AfDB 2023 Annual Meetings started on May 22 will end on Friday.


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