The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group approved on Wednesday a US$75.5 million soft loan for Mali to help the country finance a drinking water supply project in Bamako.
The total cost of the project is estimated at US$360.804 million.
It is co-financed by the Agence Française de Développement, European Union, European Investment Bank, World Bank, Islamic Development Bank, Italian Cooperation, and the Government of Mali. It will be implemented over a 48-month period.
An AfDB statement said the project aimed to produce an additional 144,000 cubic metres of drinking water per day from Kabala locality to be supplied to the capital, Bamako.
This volume of water represents 68% of current production. Bamako’s current rate of access to drinking water is estimated at 36%.
The statement said the project would assuage the water shortage that Bamako was currently experiencing, ahead of the second phase to be implemented by 2020 to increase the access rate to 60%.
In addition, the current project will help to update Bamako’s sanitation masterplan; identify a sanitation component related to this Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation; propose an appropriate organizational and institutional framework for the urban sanitation sub-sector; regulate the price of water at standpipes to make access to water easier for the poor; and establish a geographic information system for the Mali Drinking Water Heritage Corporation) (SOMAPEP-s.a.)
The project will benefit an estimated 1.6 million people, who represent 64% of the population of Bamako, of which 50.4% are women.
In addition to the construction of a water treatment plant, the project will finance eight water tanks with storage capacity ranging from 2,000 m3 to 10, 000 m3; an 880-kilometre distribution network that is 53% of the current network; 66,144 low-cost connections for the most underprivileged households; and 1,108 standpipes, notably in poor neighbourhoods.
The project will also support capacity-building in the country’s water, sanitation and environment sectors, as well as help to reduce urban poverty, the statement said.