AfDB provides US $22 million to fund Mahe Sustainable Water Augmentation Project in Seychelles

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The Government of the Republic of Seychelles has received a loan worth US $ 20.6 million, in addition to a US $1.668 million grant, from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to finance part of the Mahe Sustainable Water Augmentation Project. The accords were signed on May 27, on the sidelines of the AfDB’s 50th Annual Meetings held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

Signing the AfDB loan and the grant accords, Seychelles’ Minister of Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy, Jean-Paul Adam, expressed gratitude to the AfDB, for strongly supporting the country’s 2013-2017 Medium Term National Development Strategy, as well as fulfilling the targets as set out in the 2008-2030 Water Development Plan supported by the African Water Facility (AWF).

“When fully implemented, the project will boost Seychelles’ economy, by providing reliable and affordable water supply, which is critical in supporting tourism, the country’s main employer and economic driver, and other manufacturing sectors (fishing and beverages),” said Adam.

AfDB’s Vice-President in charge of Agriculture, Water, Human Development, Governance and Natural Resources, Aly Abou-Sabaa, also noted that the project will tremendously contribute to Seychelles’ economic development. “The Bank will continue to work closely with your Government in its efforts to strengthen the economic and social well-being of the people of Seychelles,” he underscored. “We also count on Seychelles’ constant support, over the years to ensure timely and effective implementation of this important project.”

The project outputs include raising the height of the La Gogue dam embankment by six (6) metres; constructing a new water treatment plant downstream of the dam; enhancing the public utilities corporation’s capacity to execute the project through recruitment of dam engineering and project management technical assistants; and engaging an experienced project engineering supervision consultancy firm. In order to prepare for future strategies, a study on the groundwater and small/medium scale storage potential on the islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue will be undertaken under this project.

“This funding is, therefore, a natural progression of the country and the Bank’s prior engagements in the sector,” Abou-Sabaa said. “As a small island developing state, Seychelles is extremely vulnerable to rainfall variability. The project will contribute to building a resilient society and solid economic foundation.”