In the African Development Bank Group’s bid to work for a continent free of poverty and water-borne diseases, the Board of Directors approved on Wednesday, February 3 in Abidjan a US $91-million loan to Uganda, for the provision of clean water and improved sanitation in the country.
The Water Supply and Sanitation Program II (WSSP II) targets 1.43 million people and will contribute to the country’s 2040 vision of having “a transformed society from a peasant to a modern and prosperous country within 30 years.” Direct impacts of the project include reduction in the average walking distance to the nearest water point and reduction in time spent fetching water at congested water points.
Presenting the WSSP II to the Board, AfDB Water and Sanitation Department Director, Mohamed El-Azizi, outlined that the Bank’s intervention is in line with its High 5s with particular emphasis on improving the quality of life for African people. “Implementation of this project will help improve health and productivity of Ugandan populations and have positive social and gender payoffs, as well as more conducive work environment in the towns and rural growth centres,” El-Azizi said, explaining that the country’s national objective was to reach water and sanitation coverage for all.
Board members underscored the relevance of the project, which they said is good news for every Ugandan as the government prioritizes water security and good sanitation as a driver of change.
The Bank Group’s experience in Uganda’s water sector dates back to 1968. AfDB is a partner of choice in the water sector in the country, with steady investments and implementation in the sector throughout all this period.
The AfDB is eager to remain the country’s partner of choice in the water sector and will work towards investing more in the country when it implements its sector strategies, according to the Bank’s Water Department team.