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How Rivers state plans to spend $133m AfDB water loan

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has released a document detailing how the One hundred and thirty three million dollar ($133m) loan it recently granted the Rivers State Government would be expended to improve water supply and sanitation services in River state.

The AfDB approved the $133m loan, March 2014 to finance the ‘Urban Water Sector Reform and Port Harcourt Water Supply and Sanitation Project’, aimed at providing sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation to the residents of Port-Harcourt city in Rivers State; and strengthen the Nigeria’s Federal Government’s capacity to reform the urban water supply and sanitation sector and improve service delivery across the country.

The newly released document tagged: ‘Project Appraisal Report” shows that the loan would be used to finance four major activities, which are provision of water supply and sanitation infrastructure;  institutional support to the Port Harcourt Water Corporation; promotion of hygiene, sanitation, and environmental sustainability programmes;  strengthen sector coordination, and supporting the activities of a project management steering committee.

The primary beneficiaries of the project would be residents of the Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas of Rivers state, with a projected population of 1.5 million by 2019 when the project winds up.

Facts and figures contained in the Project Appraisal Report, also shows that the total cost of the project is $225.56 million, of which AfDB is financing $133.66 million or 59%, the World Bank 27%, Rivers State Government 14% and the Federal Government 0.3%. The project is expected to start before end of 2014, and has a duration of five years.

Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi

Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi

Activities to be undertaken in the water supply and sanitation infrastructure component of the project are rehabilitation and expansion of water supply facilities, connection of new customers to public water supply sources, protection of water sources from pollution, construction of sanitation facilities, and provision of institutional support to the Port Harcourt Water Corporation.

Under the second component, the following activities would be implemented to support the Institutional development of the Port Harcourt Water Corporation  – strengthening of the systems of the corporation, including developing the capacity of its staff,  commercialization of operations through  tariffs, billings and customer outreach activities,  NS social inclusion through pro-poor unit ,and social connection fund.

The third component would promote Hygiene, sanitation and Environment sustainability activities through the delivery of environmental and hygiene education, and conduct of waste water management studies. In the last two components, the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and the Project Management Committee for the loan would both be strengthened to enable them undertake sector coordination and performance monitoring.

Access to safe drinking water supply is generally low in Nigeria, and the national average is 61%, below the 66% Sub-Saharan average; and many of Nigeria’s water utilities are unable to provide uninterrupted water services to their customers.

 

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Author of this Article:  Babatope Babalobi, babalobi@yahoo.com +2348035897435

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