European Investment Bank (EIB)

Africa: EIB promotes sanitation projects


Source: European Investment Bank (EIB)

Through collaboration with European Commission The EIB attended the signature of a LSL 201 million works contract with the Lesotho Water and Sanitation Authority (WASA) for the rehabilitation, upgrading and construction of wastewater plants in the Maseru region. The EIB previously committed a loan worth LSL 150 million (approx. EUR 14.5 million) in support of this project, which is the second in the series of WASA’s three-phase investment programme to increase access to sanitation facilities in line with its Millennium Development Goal objectives.

To ensure the success of this project, which will improve the health and living conditions of  100,000 people in Maseru, the EIB joined forces with the European Commission, through its EU-ACP Water Facility. The European Commission is providing grant finance of LSL 100 million, which is further complemented by a LSL 40 million grant from the Government of Lesotho.

Plutarchos Sakellaris, EIB Vice President responsible for the Bank’s lending operations in Africa, welcomed the signature of the works contract, saying, “Common access to safe sanitation is at the heart of social and economic development. The EIB is delighted to see this project take shape; a project which will not only help Lesotho to meet its sanitation objectives under the Millennium Development Goals, but which will also offer significant secondary health benefits to those segments of the community who are currently unserved by the sewerage networks. Moreover, the progress of this project is a testimony to WASA’s professionalism, and to the excellent collaboration among project stakeholders and financiers. The EIB and the European Commission are deeply committed to fusing our financing and technical expertise to provide optimal support to the Government of Lesotho and WASA in their efforts to improve sanitation services.”

WASA’s Chief Executive Refiloe Tlali said: “The project is upgrading WASA’s sanitation services for 100,000 inhabitants of Maseru and will provide a modern and environmentally friendly system of wastewater collection and treatment in the Capital. The contract signing is an important milestone that indicates that the project is within time schedule, so that all works will be finished as planned in the year 2012.”

The EIB loan and EC grant finance contribute towards an increase in sanitation coverage  in Maseru from 49% to 85%, thus exceeding the Millennium Development Goal of achieving 80.5% coverage by 2015. The project is the second phase of WASA’s Maseru sanitation investment programme. The first phase of “immediate works” is currently being undertaken with EU funding. The second phase which is supported by EIB and EU funding will:

  • upgrade sanitation services through an affordable mix of appropriate technology, including dry facilities for poorer households
  • significantly increase wastewater treatment capacities to reduce the pollution of water sources, including the Caledon River
  • improve public health with an expected reduction of sanitation related diseases in urban Maseru
  • establish the first National Sanitation Master Plan for the definition of future sanitation projects and replication of successfully applied approaches

The conception of the third phase of WASA’s programme will commence soon and should foresee both further sanitation measures and the treatment of industrial wastewater in Maseru.

The Maseru Wastewater Project is one of seven projects for which EIB loans are pooled with EU-ACP Water Facility grants in sub-Saharan Africa. Other projects are currently implemented in Mozambique, Malawi, Madagascar, Ethiopia, Benin and Senegal. The total funding for these seven projects amounts to EUR 326 million, of which EUR 109 million comes from EC grants and EUR 130 million from EIB loans. The rest is provided by Governments and other members of the international donor community. All projects will contribute to achieving the Millennium Development Goals for water and sanitation, with an expected 3 million people benefiting from first-time access to safe drinking water supply and sanitation.

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