Egypt secures €109 million AfDB loan for rural sewage infrastructure development

Egypt secures €109 million AfDB loan for rural sewage infrastructure development


Egypt has embarked on a massive rural areas sewage infrastructure for which it has secured €109 million from the African Development Bank to finance the project.

The projects will improve sanitation infrastructure and services for rural communities in Luxor Governorate in Egypt’s Upper Nile region, the two parties said in a press statement.

According to the press release, “The financing consists of a €108 million loan from the bank and a grant of €1 million from the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI), an Africa-wide initiative hosted by the African Development Bank.”

The funding, it adds, made available in a challenging global context, “will help meet the Egyptian government’s financing requirements in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic and support a sound water and sanitation infrastructure base, a key enabler for the country’s inclusive development.”

The Integrated Rural Sanitation in Upper Egypt-Luxor (IRSUE-Luxor) project is expected to boost sewage coverage in the region from six per cent to 55 per cent improving the quality of life of citizens, including women and children, who are most affected by poor sanitation.

“Promoting efficient, equitable and sustainable economic development through integrated water resources management is a priority for the government of Egypt. The IRSUE-Luxor initiative unlocks the socio-economic development potential for inclusive and green growth,” said Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, who signed the agreements on behalf of the Egyptian government.

About 22,000 households (240,000 inhabitants) will be covered by the on-site and off-site facilities, through an integrated system of sewerage networks, sludge treatment and wastewater treatment plants, Al-Mashat explained.

IRSUE-Luxor contributes to the National Rural Sanitation Program established by the Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities, which aims to expand nationwide access to sanitation services from 34 per cent currently to 60 per cent in 2030.

The project also complements the national Haya Karima (Decent Life) initiative that targets rural communities across Egypt access essential infrastructure services to improve their living conditions and livelihoods.

Furthermore, the project includes a staff training component to strengthen performance within the Luxor Water and Wastewater Company.

“This intervention is not just about infrastructure development. An essential part of the project is supporting ongoing sector reforms,” said Malinne Blomberg, the bank’s deputy director-general for North Africa.

One of several initiatives supported by the African Development Bank in Egypt to optimise the use of the country’s water resources, IRSUE-Luxor will enable about 30,000 cubic meters of treated wastewater per day to be discharged into drainage and irrigation canals and re-used to enhance agricultural output.

The initiative is in line with AfDB’s water sector policy that promotes efficient, equitable and sustainable development through integrated water resources management. In addition, the operation supports tariff regulation to achieve full cost recovery, which is one of the basic principles of the bank’s water sector policy.

The partnership between Egypt and AfDB dates back more than half a century. More than 100 operations have been deployed, mobilising more than $6 billion across multiple strategic sectors.

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