Water to the Thirsty

Akissa Bahri
Akissa Bahri

African Water Facility Increases Access to Water Supply and Sanitation

|  By Maureen Chigbo   |  Mar. 25, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT

THE rehabilitation of water supply and sewage systems project in Chitungwiza has been completed and handed over to the Municipality of Chitungwiza. The project, estimated to cost $3 million, was funded by the African Water Facility, AWF. This direct investment by the AWF will improve the hygiene, the health and social well-being of an estimated 350,000 people by reducing the incidences of water-borne and related diseases such as cholera and typhoid, through a system now better equipped to provide drinkable water and remove sewage from residential areas. Chitungwiza has borne the brunt of cholera epidemics, and counts on this intervention to avert another outbreak, which has been severely plaguing the city since 2008.

Launched in January 2012 and completed in February 2013, the project is poised to help stabilise the deterioration in the provision of water and sanitation services in the Municipality of Chitungwiza by enhancing institutional capacity for efficient and sustainable operation and management of the water supply and sanitation services.

“We give great importance to this project as a means to helping Chitungwiza to quickly recover from years of poor water supply and sanitation service delivery and improve people’s lives,” said Akissa Bahri, coordinator of the African Water Facility. “It is hoped that the results will also contribute to building stakeholder’s confidence, catalysing donor resources and generating knowledge on transitional assistance in a post-conflict setting.”

The handover ceremony was jointly presided over by Damoni Kitabire, officer-in-charge of the Zimbabwe Field office for African Development Bank, and C.M. Makwara, a councillor, representing the mayor of Chitungwiza municipality, and attended by local stakeholders and city officials.

The AWF is an initiative of the African Ministers’ Council on Water, AMCOW, hosted and managed by the African Development Bank, AfDB. It was established in 2004 as a special water fund to help African countries achieve the objectives of the Africa Water Vision 2025.

The AWF offers grants from €50,000 to €5 million to support projects aligned with its mission and strategy to a wide range of institutions and organisations operating in Africa. Its three strategic priority activities are: preparing investment projects to mobilise investment funds for projects supported by AWF; enhancing water governance to create an environment conducive for effective and sustainable investments; promoting water knowledge for the preparation of viable projects and informed governance leading to effective and sustainable investments.

Since 2006, AWF has funded 73 national and regional projects in 50 countries, including Africa’s most vulnerable states. It has mobilised more than €532 million as a result of its project preparation activities, which constitute 70 per cent of its portfolio. On average, each €1 contributed by the AWF has attracted €20 in additional follow-up investments.

 The AWF is entirely funded by Algeria, Australia, Austria, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Burkina Faso, Canada, Denmark, the European Commission, France, Norway, Senegal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the African Development Bank. The AWF is governed by a Governing Council representing its 15 donors, UN-Water Africa, the AU via NEPAD, AMCOW and the AfDB.

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