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The African Development Bank (AfDB) is contemplating approval of over USD 170 million by the end of this year to help Ethiopia’s efforts to improve water and sanitation coverage across the country.
“We need to think outside the box and come up with bold initiatives,” Lamin G. Barrow, Resident Representative of the Bank’s Ethiopia Country Office, told Capital at a high level workshop last week at the Sheraton Addis, the first of five such events taking place in the five sub regions of the African Continent.
“We really need to bring out innovative and provocative ideas that provide opportunities to redefine development,” he added.
Two weeks ago the Ministry of Health produced the first National Hygiene and Sanitation Strategic Action Plan to help the country meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) that will end in 2015. The final draft of the Strategic Action Plan (SAP) indicated that USD 414 million are needed to meet the targets.
The cost related to communities and health institutions has been estimated to be USD 244 million while USD 131 million is associated with education. An estimated USD 39 million of the total project cost will be contributed by communities through provision of labor and local materials.
The SAP also forms a key element of Ethiopia’s Universal Access Plan for water and sanitation, which calls for reaching 100 per cent access to sanitation and 98 per cent access to drinkable water supply by 2015.
“We envisage approving financing for the protection of basic services which is the Ethiopian Government’s flagship program. We will provide bloc grants to regions and Weredas which will support the provision of education, health and water supply in rural and urban parts of the country. In this portfolio, we have the government WASH program. The financing is in the range of 170 to 180 million US dollars,” concludes Barrow.
The bank has been long supporter of Ethiopia’s development efforts. It has approved 743 million dollars for a heavy rehabilitation asphalt road project of 880Km that stretches from Addis-Moyale-Nairobi- to Mombasa in November 2011. Out of the total loan disbursement USD 442 million went to Kenya and USD 301 million to Ethiopia. The project is part of the trans-Africa highway, which promotes trade, regional integration through highway infrastructure development and the management of road-based trade corridor.
In addition, the project will allow Ethiopia to use the port of Mombasa for its import and export trades as one more option next to Djibouti. The country has a plan to expand its export-import in the southern corridor of the country which is one of the major sources of coffee. Last year, the bank also financed the Ethio-Kenya power transmission line project that stretches about 900Km.
In addition to road, power, water and sanitation projects of the government, AfDB is also providing loans to the private sector of Ethiopia. Derba MIDROC Cement is one such beneficiary.