African Water Facility: Improved access to drinking water and sanitations services in Kinshasa

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The African Water Facility (AWF) announced July 13, 2015, the approval of a €1.9-million grant in favour of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to support the improvement of drinking water and sanitation services in Kinshasa, as well as for the expansion of water supply services towards Kinshasa-West. The project should benefit over 3.5 million people.  

More specifically, this pilot should significantly increase the city’s capacity for strategic planning and for investment mobilization and management to bring the effective expansion of Kinshasa’s drinking water and sanitation services. The AWF will fund the development of a master plan for the integrated urban water management in Kinshasa, and a feasibility study on drinking water supply and sanitation services in the western part of the city.

The project will be guided by integrated urban water management principles to promote the coordinated management of natural resources and urban water derivatives as a way to maximize social and economic benefits. This approach will have the advantage of turning the management of liquid and solid waste into income-generating activities. Once the project is completed, it is hoped the results and lessons learned from this experience will inspire other cities in the region, which are also looking to developing their drinking water supply and sanitation services.

Support from the AWF will help Kinshasa respond to its various water and sanitation challenges. The production of drinking water is currently outpaced by an ever-increasing demand – indeed, the production deficit has reached 300,000 cubic metres per day. Kinshasa’s population reached 10 million people in 2014, and is expected to reach 14 to 17 million by 2030, as indicated by a 5% population growth rate per year. Therefore, water needs should reach 1.2 million cubic metres per day in 2027, more than doubling the current rate of production.

The sanitation sector is also experiencing severe service deficits. Only 14% of the citizens have access to adequate sanitation services today. In addition, poor management of sanitation waste has led to environmental degradation. Close to 70% of the city’s solid waste ends up in informal landfills, most of them located along the riverbanks. To address these issues, the AWF will present the Congolese Government with planning and management models to improve the financial profitability and technical performance of Kinshasa’s water and sanitation services, and reduce water pollution. 

The project also proposes to introduce measures to build the city’s resilience to climate change, through the provision of water supply and sanitation services designed around the predicted impact of climate change on the region water resources.

The total cost of the project is €2.5 million, of which 76% is covered by the AWF, 15% by the Global Water Partnership (GWP) and 9% by the Government of the Republic of the Democratic Republic of Congo.