DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania – The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has disbursed a $211 million loan deal to support safe city water and sewage treatment in Tanzania.
“The AfDB is a key member of the water sector dialogue with the Tanzanian government and a long-term contributor to rural water and sanitation programs, with support from AfDB’s Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative,” Mohamed El Azizi, the Director of the AfDB Water and Sanitation Department, said last week.
AfDB said they have disbursed a loan to help address the urgent need for improved water and sanitation in the city of Arusha in the northern part of Tanzania.
The sum represents 90% of the cost of the Tanzanian government program to alleviate the threat of major environmental and health issues and improve the quality of life for Arusha inhabitants.
Arusha city in Tanzania is a major regional hub. Since 2010, the Arusha Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Authority service area has almost expanded to cover 208 kilometre, yet the existing sanitation network covers only the Central Business District of the city and serves only 7,6% of inhabitants.
Capacity is severely stretched and the existing sewage treatment ponds are critically overloaded. Water coverage is also an issue, with less than 44% of Arusha inhabitants currently served.
Consequently, the statement from AfDB said, it is estimated that water-borne diseases in the area account for about 40% of per capita health expenditure.
Accordingly, this strategic AfDB investment is designed to enable transformative improvement of water and sanitation services across Arusha city.
Over the program horizon, the improved facilities will benefit a resident population of more than 600,000 people in Arusha city and 250,000 additional people, who commute to the city, for business purposes. A new sewerage treatment pond system will be a major contribution to service delivery.
In line with the Bank’s Ten Year Strategy to promote inclusive growth, the program includes targeted solutions in areas not covered by the sewerage system, in order to respond to the needs of all groups, including the economically disadvantaged.
100 sanitation blocks for Arusha city schools are budgeted in the sanitation program. Improved access to water and sanitation services will complement other social services and will have significant gender dimensions.
In Tanzania, women spend considerable time and energy on a daily basis in collecting water and caring for family members suffering from water-related illnesses.
Improved water and sanitation in Arusha will lead to a reduction sickness and associated health-care costs, and is expected to give women more time for productive endeavors such as adult education, empowerment activities and leisure.
Azizi said in the statement that the AfDB Tanzanian field office will play an important role in the implementation and monitoring of the works.