World Bank approves $445 million to enhance water supply and sanitation

Up to 3.38 million Ethiopian citizens stand to benefit from new financing approved today by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors towards the nation’s water sector. The $445 million credit ($320 million IDA regular and $125 million IDA scale-up facility*) will be used to increase access to enhanced water supply and sanitation services in Addis Ababa and 22 secondary cities. The financing will enable investments in appropriate, cost effective, equitable sanitation solutions, as well as increase efficiency in water supply.

“Providing access to safe and reliable water, improved sanitation and hygiene are key to improving the well-being and productivity of citizens. Poor water and sanitation is detrimental to the development of people, and is a major cause of stunting in children,” said Wambui Gichuri, Practice Manager, Water Global Practice at the World Bank. “By reducing waterborne and sanitation-related health risks which disproportionately affect the poor, this operation supports the World Bank’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity.”

Addis Ababa is the only city in Ethiopia with a sewerage network, although only 10% of its citizens have access to it. The country has seen a doubling of urbanization rates since 1967, adding pressure on infrastructure. To ensure that the project is specifically tailored to the Ethiopian context, the World Bank has been working with the Government of Ethiopia to come up with a unique city-wide, all-inclusive urban sanitation approach, bringing in lessons learned from other countries. There will be a mix of solutions that include wastewater treatment, decentralized sewerage, communal toilets, and desludging facilities.

“The World Bank is pleased to offer the first IDA scale-up facility for Ethiopia. The project demonstrates the Government’s commitment to getting urbanization right where citizens have access to clean water and sanitation. These measure will form the backbone of economic growth, competitiveness and job creation,’’ said Carolyn Turk, World Bank Country Director, Ethiopia.

The proposed project aligns with the urban development agenda of the Ethiopia Growth and Transformation Plan II, which regards urban centers as key economic agents, and sees addressing infrastructure gaps as a major priority, alongside job creation and housing. It specifically calls for the expansion of sustainable potable water supply and improving urban sanitation. The project is also consistent with Ethiopia’s international commitments, including Sustainable Development Goals 6 and 11 on water and sanitation for all and cities respectively.

*The World Bank’s International Development Association, established in 1960, and supports the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. In 2016 the World Bank established a one-off facility — IDA Scale-Up Facility— to provide additional support to IDA clients for the remainder of the IDA17 period. The special category of credits under this facility — IDA Scale-Up Facility Credits (SUF Credits) — is offered at non-concessional terms to eligible clients.