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Fund avails 200 mln for potable water projects

Fund avails 200 mln for potable water projects

15 towns to receive the funding

In an effort to provide potable water to residents of medium and small towns, the Water Resources Development Fund (WRDF) has extended financing to the tune of 200 million birr to support potable water projects in five towns of Oromia, Tigray and the Southern Regional States.

On the basis of the funding program to which regions contribute a minimum share, WRDF has provided the funds through the European Investment Bank (EIB), the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Italian Development Agency (AICS).

WRDF Director General Wanna Wake noted that so far 26 towns have completed project appraisal status. Of these, only four were found not to be eligible to receive financing, he said. So far, 12 towns out of the 22 have received the green light, and project implementation appraisals are evolving. Accordingly, five towns have inked deals with WDRF to receive funding and are expected to develop potable water projects within one year.

Back in May, WRDF received an additional funding of 81.4 million euros from the European Investment Bank and the French and Italian development agencies to be invested in rural small-scale water projects across a number of small towns in Oromia and Southern Regional State. At the time, four towns in Oromia and the Southern Regional State were able to ink a 300-million-birr special loan agreement. EIB, AFD and AICS have each contributed 41.9 million, 21 million and 18.5 million euros, respectively. EIB and the two agencies have joined hands to further assist 43 rural towns, which have been shortlisted from 90 potential contenders.

Having a 20-year gestation period, the loan facility and the projects to be financed in the four towns will be able to benefit some 300,000 people.

Back in February 2017, eight towns from Oromia, Tigray and the Southern Regional State were selected to receive a total of 188 million birr from WRDF as part of the 75 million euros made available to WRDF by the three funding agencies. This money was earmarked to be disbursed to 35 rural towns, out of which eight have already benefited from the fund.

Established 15 years ago, WRDF has so far financed some 60 projects worth some six billion birr in Ethiopia.