City government to increase budget for water, sewerage


The Addis Ababa City Administration announced that it will allocate 2 billion birr annually for water and sewerage starting next year to achieve its goal of 100 percent coverage. The administration claims that currently water supply coverage stands at 94 percent.
Over the last 120 years, water coverage for the city was under 50 percent, according to Foano Fola, Head of the Bureau of Finance and Economic Development of the Addis Ababa City Administration. At a press conference held at the City Government’s Cabinet Hall in Piazza, he stated that as recently as five years ago when the current administration took over, the water supply coverage was still under 50 percent. “Potable water production five years ago was only 232m3 per day,” he said. “But now the production has increased to 370m3 per day in just five years.”  He asserted that currently the water supply coverage has reached 94 percent. This radical change has come about as a result of the government’s commitment to come up with ambitious plans, which include annual implementation plans, the five year Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) and the three year strategic plan, the head notified journalists in an extended briefing.
The city government has, for the past five years, on average allocated 1.2 billion birr annually in order to enhance access to water and sanitation in the city. “A total of 6.6 billion birr has been invested by the city government over the last five years,” said Foano.
The government’s achievement in regards to water and sewerage coverage is very high even though there were some minor limitations, said the head. He believes that the remaining 6 percent water supply coverage will be achieved in the coming three months.
The city held the event to explain to media professionals about the implementation of the five-year Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) on the city’s water supply coverage. Foano also gave a report on the government’s GTP implementation of road construction, Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs) development and job creation, land development and management, health, trade and investment promotion.
The city said it has allocated five billion birr for road construction in the last five years alone and has reached 15 percent coverage from 9 percent in May 2009. Having spent 1.9 billion birr on SMEs in the same period, it has been able to create 541,694 job opportunities. Some 130,000 SMEs have been established, out of whom 363 have managed to grow to become mid-level businesses, Faono’s report stated. The head said health coverage has increased from 32 percent in May 2009 to 80 percent currently.
Faono said that the government has managed to achieve a remarkable result in spite of several challenges including rent-seeking dealings and attitudes, lack of efficient implementation and management skills, lack of good governance and an increase in the cost of living.