Zimbabwe: $33 million African Development Bank clean water and sanitation project nears completion

Safe water access and cleaner waste collection are set to become a reality for vulnerable communities in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, as a Bank-funded water and sewerage improvement project enters its final phase.

The Mayor of Bulawayo examining new backwash pumps at the Criterion Water Treatment Works

The Bulawayo Water and Sewerage Services Improvement Project (BWSSIP), a $33 million project is on course to rehabilitate and upgrade water production treatment facilities, water distribution, sewer drainage networks and wastewater treatment disposal facilities in the southwestern part of the city.

The project is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2020.

“We are counting down months to completion. With the full suite of new services, we seek to reverse the devastating effects that poor sanitation and water supply has brought to this area. We look forward to witnessing the positive impacts that these changes will bring and building the resilience of this society,” said Mr Damoni Kitabire, Country Manager for the Bank’s Zimbabwe office.

Bulawayo, like many urban centres in Zimbabwe, has been affected by years of under-investment in its water and sewerage infrastructure maintenance. The city also suffers from water insecurity due to frequent drought. Less than 50% of the sewage generated in the city is currently collected, and the exposure to contamination is significant.

The project, administered by the government of Zimbabwe via the Bulawayo City Council, is designed to contribute to the health and social wellbeing of its population.

“Before the project, water was distributed on a ration basis, forcing marginal communities in Cowdray Park, an informal settlement in Bulawayo District to walk for over a kilometre to get water,” said Engineer Simela Dube, Director Engineering Services for the Bulawayo City Council

In addition, nearly 2,000 municipal staff have been trained (30% of them women) to address the lack of skills to efficiently manage water and sewer service delivery systems, and several interns afforded an opportunity to hone new skills through engagement on various segments of the project.  Training was provided on the environment, water services, gender and health.

Supporting the rehabilitation of water and sanitation in Zimbabwe has been one of the Bank’s priority areas since a cholera epidemic in 2008/09.  The BWSSIP is an extension of the Bank’s efforts to stabilize and improve water supply and sanitation services in Zimbabwe.

Without adequate financing, the city was suffering from inadequate and dilapidated water and sanitation infrastructure, including inefficient and old pumps and treatment works; non-functional sewer systems and frequent instances of contaminated pipe water.

SEND SL and WHH hand over water facilities to remote communities in Eastern Sierra Leone

Twelve communities in the Eastern District of Kenema with more than 8,000 people have benefitted from water wells through the intervention of SEND Sierra Leone in partnership with WHH.

For the past 10 years the women and children of Beyiema have struggled to fetch water from the nearby stream

The wells included 9 hand-dug wells and 3 gravity systems (37 stand posts). The 12 communities are in Gaura, Nomo and Tunkia chiefdoms. Four communities were rehabilitation and five communities were new constructions.

The symbolic handing over of the water facilities took place in Beiyema village in Tunkia chiefdom on 10th December, 2019. Beyiema is close to the Liberia border.

The village has been without a functional water well for the past 10 years since the pump’s head got damaged and they have learnt some bitter lessons.

“We never knew the importance of the water well until it got damaged due to reckless handling,” said the Village Chief, Lansana Konneh.

“For the past ten years we have to rely on stream water. Thanks to SEND Sierra Leone and their partners for their intervention and for giving us a second chance. Now we know what to do.”

He said they would institute bye-laws to ensure proper management of the water well and its environment. The bye-laws will include opening and closing time, and regular cleaning of the well area.

Part of the project also involved training of the community people on how to take care of the well and raise funds among themselves for maintenance purposes, according to WASH Coordinator Sulaiman Sheriff.

Giving the keynote address during the ceremony, the representative from the Kenema District Council, Joseph Mbaina,admonished the community to take ownership of the water well and ensure it was properly utilized.

“When you take good care of the well, you will have less cases of disease outbreak because you are drinking clean water and also using it for cooking and washing,” he said.

He further warned the elders to ensure the monies that would be generated through contributions should not be used for any other purpose other than the maintenance of the well.

Also speaking at the handing over ceremony is the representative from the District Health Management Team (DHMT), Tommy Gassimu. He emphasized the importance of maintaining hygiene in the village.

“Do not dry your clothes on the fence of the water well; brush around the well area about 10 to 15 feet away,” he appealed, adding that the DHMT would start to monitor the management and upkeep of water wells in all communities.

Equally, the representative of the Ministry of Water Resources, Augustine Songa Amara, empahsised the importance of water to life, stressing that clean water helps to prevent sickness.

Amara noted that contamination of water normally occurs during the process of fetching it and admonished the community to be mindful of the containers they keep water and how they use it at home.

The WHH representative, Santigie Kanu, said the repair, rehabilitation and construction of the water facilities are part of the LANN+ project (Linking Agriculture to Natural Resources and Nutrition).

“It’s a complete package, adopting new things around sanitation,” he said, adding that the project is funded by the Federal Cooperation of Germany.

Meanwhile, SEND Sierra Leone Head of Project, Thomas Juana, said the emphasis is on hygiene which would lead to good health and prolonged life. He appealed to the communities to keep the water clean and safe at all times, from the well to their houses.

He also commended the communities for embracing development.

Senegal: African Development Bank lends €60 million to develop value chains through improving water supply

On Wednesday 17 July in Abidjan, the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank approved a loan of €87 million to the government of Senegal, to implement its Project to Improve the Water Supply for the Development of Value Chains (PROVALE-CV).

For this project, valued at an estimated €122 million, the Bank will provide €60.8 million, while the “Africa Growing Together Fund” (AGTF) will provide €26.8 million.

Developed with the support of the Bank, PROVALE-CV is the first project under Senegal’s small-scale Local Irrigation National Development Programme (PNDIL). It operates in three agro-ecological areas in the country: Les Niayes, the groundnut basin, and Casamance, and covers eight administrative regions: Kaolack, Fatick, Kaffrine, Diourbel, Thiès, Ziguinchor, Sédhiou and Kolda.

The project will run for 5 years – November 2019-October 2024 – and aims to sustainably increase agricultural production, employment and incomes in rural areas through the use of surface and underground water. It comprises the management of 12,730 hectares including 7,950 hectares fed by retention dams, 3,980 recovered hectares, 800 hectares of borehole-fed market gardens, production roadways, warehouses and pastoral infrastructure.

This project will have a direct impact on 38,000 households, or about 300,000 people. And the actions planned for the project will help create 28,000 decent jobs, 30% of which will be for women and 40% for young people, together with an average increase in earnings from agricultural production of around €1,520 per beneficiary, according to Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbadé, the African Development Bank’s General Manager for West Africa.

The Bank’s active portfolio in Senegal comprises 28 operations and a commitment of around €1.3 billion. Its agricultural sector portfolio includes six national projects (with a value of €179 million), one multinational project (valued at €27 million) and one project financed by the private sector.