The Board of Directors of the African Development Group approved on Wednesday, April 30, 2014 an African Development Fund (ADF) loan of US $23.0 million, a loan of US $7.7 million from the Nigerian Trust Fund (NTF), and a grant of US $4.8 million from the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Facility to support Malawi’s implement the Sustainable Rural Water and Sanitation Infrastructure for Improved Health and Livelihoods Project. The project is aligned with the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy, the AfDB’s 2013-2017 Country Strategy Paper and the Bank’s Ten-Year strategy focusing on African transformation through inclusive and green growth.
The project focuses on rural water supply and sanitation in five districts and will be implemented through the Ministry of Water Development and Irrigation in collaboration with the respective district councils. This support is within the National Water Development Program which is being implemented by the Government of Malawi with support from several development partners including the World Bank, UNICEF, European Investment Bank, the European Union and the Australian Government.
The project addresses:
- Increased access to clean and sustainable water supply;
- Increased access to improved and inclusive sanitation;
- Improved resilience of water resources; and
- Sustainable community management of water supply and sanitation facilities.
Speaking after the Board approval of the project, Andrew Mwaba, AfDB Resident Representative said, “The project is expected to increase access to clean water for a total population of over half a million in the five centres of Rumphi in the northern region, Nkhotakota and Ntcheu in the central region, and Mangochi and Phalombe in the southern region.” With regards to sanitation, the project will, in accordance with the country’s National Sanitation Policy focus on hygiene and sanitation promotion and marketing in the regions. “These initiatives will increase access to improved and inclusive sanitation to a total population of nearly 600,000 including primary school pupils,” he added. In addition, the project will create jobs, including for youth, in construction, operation and maintenance, as well as promote afforestation and bee-keeping activities as part of sustainable catchment management. The project will also improve resilience of water resources with related improved community management to sustain water supply and sanitation facilities.
In addition to climate proofing and ensuring inclusive access to water supply and sanitation, the project will support the empowerment of district councils and rural communities with particular emphasis on women and youth, monitoring and evaluation, and on enhancing sector reforms for governance and accountability of service delivery. The project will help reduce the incidence of water-borne diseases and thereby consolidate Malawi’s progress towards achieving the health MDGs.
This is the second major intervention by the AfDB in the water supply and sanitation sector in the last five years. In 2009, the AfDB provided US $48.3 million to finance the National Water Development Project, covering mainly underserved rural communities, which was successfully completed in 2013.