AfDB Approves Akure Water Sector Reforms Loans, As Nigerian Portfolio Hits $4.8bn

The Board of the African Development Bank (AfDB), on Thursday, December 12, 2019, said it approved a $124.2m loan to finance the Urban Water Sector Reform and Water Supply and Sanitation Project in Akure, capital of Ondo State, Nigeria.

The project, including an African Growing Together Fund (AGTF) loan of $20m, is set to address bottlenecks in critical water supply services to households in the densely populated project area

The overall project cost put at $222.69m, will span five years from 2020-2025, is billed to address bottlenecks in critical water supply services to households in the densely populated project area.

It is expected to provide residents of the Ondo State capital 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,” according to Ebrima Faal, Senior Director at the AfDB’s Nigeria Regional Office.

The loan will also help to install sanitation infrastructure for schools, hospitals, markets.

On completion, the project will benefit the 1.3m residents of Akure City and 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 of 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 $4.8bn and includes water and sanitation projects worth $606.0 million.