BY EDMUND SMITH-ASANTE
It is estimated that one million of Burkina Faso’s population living in the capital, Ouagadougou, will benefit from a large sanitation project estimated to cost FCFA 90.5 billion (€138 million).
The project, which takes off in earnest in 2013 and expected to be completed in 2017, was the subject of feasibility studies funded by the African Water Facility (AWF), which provided €647,000, covering 88 per cent of the costs of the preparatory work completed in August 2011.
Of paramount importance to Ouagadougou, in light of the tragic flood of September 1, 2009 which left thousands homeless, the Burkinabe capital city’s authority hopes to implement a sanitation system resilient to the increasingly devastating floods they have been recurrently facing in recent years due to climate change.
To mobilise the funds for construction of the planned infrastructure, Ouagadougou’s City Council on Tuesday, November 13, 2012, organised a donor roundtable, at which representatives of various local, regional and international development agencies and from different levels of Government discussed funding of the sanitation project in the peri-urban areas of Ouagadougou.
Represented at the meeting were the Africa Water Facility (AWF), African Development Bank (AfDB), the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, the French Development Agency, the German Development Bank (KfW), the Islamic Development Bank, OFID (former Fund of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries), UN-Habitat, WaterAid, Water and Sanitation Agency Africa, the West African Development Bank and the World Bank.
Commenting on their participation in the project, Akissa Bahri, Coordinator of the African Water Facility, said, “We are proud to be associated with this initiative and confident in the leadership of the city to carry out such an important and promising project.”
“We hope the financial partners will also support this project, which should benefit a wide range of citizens, including youth, women and the poorest people of the suburbs, providing them with a better living environment,” he added.
Meanwhile, the African Development Bank (AfDB), has already committed to funding the project up to €26 million (FCFA 17 billion) to begin the works as early as 2013, adding to the €8 million (FCFA 5 billion ) committed by the Government of Burkina Faso, and the €1.5 million (FCFA 1 billion) invested by the Municipality of Ouagadougou.
The city is now seeking to fill the €103 million (FCFA 67.5 billion) gap with other financial partners, most of whom expressed interest in the project during the roundtable stage.
Currently, Burkina Faso and the City of Ouagadougou are important partners of the African Water Facility.
Burkina Faso also recently joined the group of donors of the African Water Facility by making a contribution of €80,000, which demonstrates the country’s commitment to promoting the development of the water sector, both at home and across the continent.
The AWF is an initiative of the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and established in 2004 as a Special Water Fund to help African countries achieve the objectives of the Africa Water Vision 2025.
It offers grants from €50,000 to €5 million, to support projects aligned with its mission and strategy to a wide range of institutions and organisations operating in Africa.