African Development Fund awards $46 million to enhance water and sanitation access in Ethiopia.

The African Development Fund’s Board of Directors in Abidjan granted Ethiopia $46.02 million for the Borana Resilient Water Development for Improved Livelihoods Program’s Phase 2 in the southern region.

The financial aid, provided through the African Development Bank Group’s concessional rate loans window, aims to enhance access to sustainable, climate-smart, gender-sensitive water supply and sanitation services for pastoral communities in Borana’s arid lands within the Oromia region.

The Borana region, with an estimated population of 1.2 million people, half of whom are women, is experiencing rapid growth and is expected to reach 1.8 million by 2030. Most residents depend on pastoralism for their livelihoods, making them vulnerable to fluctuating rainfall patterns and recurrent droughts that result in water scarcity.

As of March 2023, more than 3.3 million livestock perished due to water shortages, leaving over 67,000 households without means of support. Climate-related impacts on pasture and water availability further escalate tensions over land and water resources.

The initiative addresses the pressing issue of increasing water demand in Borana and aims to alleviate the impacts of drought.

“This is a peace-building program in an environment where the extremes of climate change are increasingly manifesting, millions of livestock are lost, and conflicts are increasing among pastoralist due to limited pastures and water supply,” said Dr Beth Dunford, Vice President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development.

The grant from the African Development Fund will primarily fund the enhancement and expansion of water production and transportation systems across more than 85 kilometers. It will also support the construction of nine reservoirs, distribution systems spanning 142.6 kilometers, and connections to provide drinking water access to 36,000 new users. Additionally, 99 watering troughs will be installed for nearly 109,000 livestock.

The program will also finance property acquisitions and related activities to reduce climate risks associated with supplying multipurpose water and sanitation services. It will strengthen community-level WASH management systems to ensure the sustainability of the facilities.

“This program responds to the critical challenge of rising water demand in Borana region and intends to mitigate the effects of drought, supporting solutions such as the development of key water infrastructure, institutional capacity building, and enhancing service delivery for sustainable and climate-resilient water provision,” said Osward Chanda, Director, Water Development and Sanitation at African Development Bank Group.

In addition to upgrading sanitary facilities in schools and health centers, the program will finance public sanitation facilities construction, hygiene awareness campaigns, and capacity building on water service regulation at regional and district levels. To sustain rural supply systems, the program will assist a rural water utility in developing appropriate tariffs for operating and maintaining the new facilities in consultation with users.

Furthermore, the program aims to enhance management frameworks for climate-resilient catchments and implement practical adaptation measures for ecosystems, landscapes, sustainable livelihoods, and efficient water management systems.

The beneficiaries of the program are rural and peri-urban communities in Borana, primarily composed of pastoralists and low-income households, particularly women and youth. Approximately 35,816 individuals will benefit from improved water supply services, with half being women. Moreover, around 21,000 people, at least half of whom are women, will gain better access to basic sanitation services.

Source :The African Development Bank Group 

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