Tunis, 19 November 2008 – The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved US$ 97.2 million (33.84 million Euros and 53.34 million dollars) loan to finance Morocco’s 10th Drinking Water Supply Project, bringing the Bank Group’s overall commitment in the country to US$ 5.64 billion in 93 operations since the Bank started operations in the country in 1970.
The project, approved by the Board of Directors on Wednesday in Tunis, builds on the success of Bank-financed projects and their significant contribution to the achievement of Morocco’s drinking water supply and sanitation objectives.
It aims at reinforcing drinking water production and supply systems of the towns of Khénifra, Taounate, Settat, Marrakech and Tamesna (Rabat-Casablanca coastal zone) , as well as those of neighbouring rural centres, with a view to improving the socio-economic and health conditions of Moroccans by providing drinking water supply to urban and rural centres.
The project will enhance and improve the quantity and quality of water supply for approximately three (3) million people as from 2010 and enable the National Drinking Water Authority (ONEP), as producer and distributor, and the autonomous state-owned companies as distributors, to meet the demand of the inhabitants of the area that are projected to reach five (5) million by 2030.
Designed to meet the priority needs adopted by ONEP in its 2008-2010 Investment Plan, the project comprises five (5) operations to reinforce the drinking water production and supply system for areas where the drinking water supply systems will be saturated as from 2010.
The project is in conformity with the Country Strategy Paper (CSP) on the development and upgrading of infrastructure, and falls within the framework of the third focus area of ONEP’s strategy concerning sustainability and protection of existing infrastructures. The Bank’s 2007-2011 strategy in Morocco is based on three pillars: strengthening governance systems; development and upgrading infrastructure; and promoting of human development.
The overall cost of the project is estimated at US$ 118 million. The AfDB loan accounts for 82.3% of the project costs. The remaining 17.7% of the costs will be provided by ONEP.
* 1 UA = US$ 1.48830 = € 1.16665 = MAD 12.2964 as at 19/11/2008