The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) on Wednesday, April 1, 2015 approved a US $123.77-million loan to the Republic of Angola to finance the country’s Institutional and Sustainability Support to Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Service Delivery Project.
The project aims to improve water sector governance, strengthen institutional capacity and efficiency in the water and sanitation sector institutions at central and provincial level, and improve access to sustainable water supply and sanitation services. The project’s main outcomes include (i) the establishment and effective functioning of seven Provincial Water Supply and Sanitation Utilities, which are autonomous; (ii) enhanced capacity for service provision at the central and provincial levels; and (iii) expanded access to water supply and sanitation. The project is planned to be implemented over a 60-month period at a cost of US $154.71 million of total budget.
It is located in seven provinces namely: Cabinda, Cunene, Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul, Namibe, Bengo, and Cuanza Sul. Access stands at 54% for water supply and 60% for sanitation nationally as at 2012. The majority (85% or six out of the seven provinces) has coverage below the national average (ranging from 7% to 56%).
The Project will directly benefit 922,000 people and ultimately the 2.3-million urban population of the seven provinces through improved management and service delivery. It will increase access to water supply for an additional 338,000 people in peri-urban areas of the provincial capitals and an additional 75,000 people who would have access to safe wastewater infrastructure.
Angola has been investing heavily in infrastructure following three decades of conflict and has made progress in many areas including water supply and sanitation services. However, the investment in physical infrastructure has not been matched with adequate emphasis in the institutional and capacity domains. Lack of capacity and appropriate institutional mechanisms has negatively impacted the sustainability of existing investment. Service delivery is erratic and inefficient and highly subsidized with no cost recovery mechanisms in place. As a result of inefficient service delivery, the poor and vulnerable are the most affected in the peri-urban areas. Recognizing these needs, the government through its National Strategic Program for Water (2013-2017) and the Energy and Water Action Plan (2013-2017) in putting emphasis on the improvement of sector governance (establishing a water regulator and asset management entity) and professionalizing service delivery (establishing corporatized and autonomous utilities) along with critical investment to further expand access to services.
The Bank’s intervention will leverage investments made by the government and other partners. Its holistic approach combining investment with developing capacity and strengthening institutions would enhance sustainability. The synergetic value addition for reforms and capacity building through the recently approved Bank’s Power Sector Reform Support Program is significantly high and would promote the momentum for change.