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On Monday, December 14, 2015, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Government of Sudan launched the US $26-million Water Sector Reforms and Institutional Capacity Development project, which will benefit West Kordofan State and some federal water sector institutions. The project is funded with an AfDB grant of US $22 million over the next five years, financed from the Bank’s Transitional Support Facility and its Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative. The event was presided over by the Director of Drinking Water and Sanitation Unit (DWSU) at the Ministry of Water Resources and the AfDB Resident Representative Abdul Kamara. It was attended by representatives of federal Government of Sudan, West Kordofan State and various stakeholders and beneficiaries.
In his opening remarks, the Director of DWSU expressed his commitment to this project to ensure its timely implementation and impact on the ultimate beneficiaries. He thanked the AfDB for its targeted support to the water sector, noting that several localities lack access to basic water and sanitation facilities in the State of West Kordofan and stressed that the project will make a significant contribution to improving the lives of local communities in the state. For his part, AfDB Resident Representative Abdul Kamara highlighted the need for Sudan to implement this project expeditiously, emphasizing the Bank’s renewed emphasis on timely implementation of its operations to maximize impact on intended beneficiaries. He then urged the Government to provide full support to the project implementation team to avoid any processing delays. He also urged the project personnel to familiarize themselves with the Bank’s procurement and disbursement guidelines. He added that experts from the Bank’s Water and Sanitation Department and from the Procurement Department, who are currently in Sudan, will train the project implementation team and stakeholders in several interactive sessions over the next days to ensure a smooth implementation.
The Project was approved by the Bank’s Board in September 2015. Its objective is to contribute to building a resilient and sustainable water and sanitation sector that meets the needs of all users or beneficiaries in Sudan, particularly in West Kordofan State, while contributing to peace building, improved livelihoods and resilience against climate variability and change. The project outputs include: i) water-sector policy and institutional reforms supported for better efficiency of the water and sanitation sector; ii) capacity development for federal and state staff and community supported for improved services and livelihoods; and iii) water supply points and sanitation facilities provided for improved resilience and stability.
In spite of Sudan’s inability to accrue new loans from the African Development Bank due to the arrears situation, the institution continues to engage in the provision of targeted support that directly benefits the poor and needy segments of the Sudanese population. The AfDB now plays a leading role in Sudan in the provision of technical assistance and capacity building especially in the areas of financial governance and accountability, and service delivery in key sectors such as water and sanitation, health and education.