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Zimbabwe and Chad will benefit from combined grants amounting to US $53.24 million approved by Executive Directors of the African Development Bank Group on Wednesday, December 9, for the funding of a water project and a financial reform programme, respectively.
The Board approved US $34.93 million for Bulawayo’s Water and Sewerage Services Improvement Project (BWSSIP), which aims to ameliorate the health and social well-being of the people in Bulawayo, the second most populous city in Zimbabwe and a major economic hub, by improving its municipal water supply and sanitation services.
Bulawayo, like many urban centres in Zimbabwe, has been affected by years of under investment in the maintenance of its water and sewerage infrastructure due to a long economic and social crisis in the country. It also suffers from water insecurity cause by frequent drought.
The project, to be implemented in 48 months from January 2016, will focus on rehabilitating and enhancing the water supply system, strengthening institutional capacity, enhancing service delivery and efficiency and improvement of environmental sanitation.
These would be achieved through targeted investment and intervention in critical aspects of the water and sanitation infrastructure, as well as relevant institutional and capacity building by (i) providing safe water and ensuring safe disposal of sewage, (ii) improving the efficiency of water and sanitation infrastructure, and (iii) enhancing operational and financial efficiency of service delivery.
Some of the key outcomes are improved household access to municipal water supply, reduced environmental pollution from raw sewage, and improved utility efficiency. When completed, the project will benefit directly 471,798 people in Bulawayo and of these about 75,000 people previously isolated from basic services will gain access to water supply. In terms of the sanitation intervention, the whole city will benefit from the rehabilitated public latrines, hygiene education and improved maintenance capacity, whereas the intervention on sewer reticulation and treatment works will benefit about 471,798 people living in the affected catchments, thus eliminating health hazard. The beneficiaries in the project area have been engaged during the design of the project and will be involved during implementation to enhance social accountability and partnership.
The project is anchored on the Updated Country Brief (2014-2016) through the emphasis for critical service delivery in the water and sanitation sector. It is also consistent with the Zim-Asset (Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation), the Government’s blueprint for development (2013-2018) in which infrastructure and utilities is one of the four pillars of the plan.
It is consistent to the Bank’s engagement and role in Zimbabwe in reducing fragility and building resiliency through its capacity-building initiatives, improving government delivery of basic services particularly to vulnerable groups, and facilitating and leading the country’s re-engagement process with the international community so as to improve development prospects. This is in complete alignment with the Bank’s Strategy for Enhanced Engagement in Fragile States.
The total cost of the project is estimated at US $37.075 million. The Bank’s US $34.93 million grant derived from Transition Support Facility represents 90% of the funding. The remaining 10% will be provided by the Zimbabwe Government.
The PARFIP is a general budget support programme to be implemented over a 12-month period from December 2015, with a US $4.62-million grant from the African Development Fund and a US $13.72-million grant from the Transition Support Facility.
The Programme is the AfDB’s contribution to the combined efforts of donors through special financial support aimed at assisting Chad in its efforts to address a combined security and fiscal shock that has affected the country largely due to the terrorist threat in the sub-region and the drop in oil prices.
It will promote public finance management efficiency and transparency in the country by improving domestic resource mobilization enhancing public expenditure efficiency and transparency.
These would be achieved by (i) broadening the tax base in order to improve the contribution of the non-oil productive sector to fiscal revenue mobilization; (ii) enhancement of public expenditure efficiency in order to improve the social development indicators; and (iii) increased transparency of the budget process and public procurement to ensure fairer access to public contracts for private sector actors as well as citizens’ access to budget information.
The reduction of social inequalities, improved recovery of non-oil sector domestic resources, and enhancement of public expenditure efficiency and transparency are among the key expected outcomes of the programme.
The programme is consistent with the key objectives of the 2015-2020 Country Strategy, which is focused on support to reforms to improve the effectiveness of public action and the efficiency of the economic framework. It is also aligned with the operational objectives of the Bank’s Ten Year Strategy concerning governance and accountability, as well as its High 5s agenda with regards to improving peoples’ living conditions in Africa.
The PARFIP, along with other budget support operations from the World Bank and the European Union, for instance, is expected to effectively stabilize Chad’s macroeconomic framework, increase fiscal revenue mobilization in order to expand the Government's fiscal space and build its capacity to finance its development agenda in the critical areas of social development, infrastructure and rural development.