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The Addis Ababa Water and Sewerage Authority (AAWSA) says they have enough water to meet the needs of city residents but are struggling to distribute it.
While inaugurating a waste treatment plant at Kality on Saturday July 7 the head of AAWSA, Awoke Hailemariam blamed the hard currency shortage for the problem.
During a lengthy speech, he criticized banks for prioritizing hard currency distribution over other commodities when water is vital for everyone.
Awoke said that because there isn’t enough hard currency, several well drilling projects have been delayed since they require electromechanical parts. He wants the federal government to step in and help alleviate the problem.
In the past five years the authority has spent over ten billion birr secured from the government’s coffer and foreign loans to tap more water for the city. Rehabilitating dams and drilling new wells during the last five years has enabled the city’s water supply to increase to 92 percent from about 53 in 2013.
More needs to be done as demand continues to increase. The population of Addis is growing very rapidly and a large amount of infrastructure is being built, add that to the fact that some wells have not been dug and all this means that the current water coverage has dramatically declined from 92 percent in 2016 to 65 percent currently. So even though water production has increased the distribution and coverage has actually declined.
The production capacity of AAWSA has reached 618,000 m3 per day; meanwhile the demand stands at 866,540 m3 per day. Awoke said that the actual production capacity is 525,000m3 if there is not any interruption like power cuts on the distribution process.
Old pipeline networks, waste, lack of technology, power interruption, damage to pipeline networks, lack of adequate financing and low tariffs that do not cover the operation costs are challenges hindering the Authority from getting enough water to its citizens.
The AAWSA head seriously criticized negligence, corruption and theft at the Agency although he says these things have been reduced.
The Kality Waste Water Treatment became a reality through financing by the World Bank and the cost was covered by the government and World Bank. It can treat 100,000 m3 of water per day. USD 100 million came from the World Bank and 759 million birr from the government.