The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) and the Government of Egypt on the sidelines of the AfDB’s Annual Meetings in Lusaka on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 signed two grant agreements amounting to USD 860,000 to help finance water and agriculture projects in Egypt.
The first grant, to the tune of USD 290,000 million, will support preparation of the feasibility study for integrated sanitation technologies in some rural areas in Upper Egypt. This study is financed by the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation Trust Fund (KOAFEC), which is managed by the African Development Bank.
It will identify appropriate ways to provide suitable and sustainable sanitation services involving sewerage systems, treatment technologies, sludge management and disposal for the population in 59 selected rural villages in Upper Egypt. The key deliverables include (i) significant improvement in the water quality of treated water discharged and stabilization of the ecosystem in Nile Basin; (ii) prevention of waterborne epidemic diseases; and (iii) job creation and development of local construction and equipment enterprises through the extension of sanitation facilities.
The second grant agreement of USD 570,000 will complement the Bank’s support to the National Drainage Programme, which aims at optimizing the benefits of irrigation by draining excess irrigation water from agricultural land in order to reduce water logging and consequent soil salinity, in addition to making more land available for cultivation. This is expected to result in higher crop yields in the target areas, higher farm incomes and increased food security and poverty reduction in general.
The grant will support the implementation of the National Drainage Programme through: (i) technical studies to improve drainage water quality; (ii) implementation of the Environmental and Social Management Framework recommendations; (iii) training for staff of the Executing Agency and Water Users Associations.
The direct beneficiaries include 125,000 farming households (625,000 persons – of which 50% are women) in five regions of the country whose crop productivity will increase by 15-21% for various selected crops.
This project will help address the Bank’s new High 5 priorities, especially the “Feed Africa” priority through agricultural transformation to eradicate hunger and poverty on the continent by 2025.
Commenting on these operations, AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina reiterated his appreciation for the excellent relations and good co-operation between the Bank and the Government of Egypt.
Adesina also used the occasion to express his condolences and sympathies to the families of the victims and to the government over the crash of EgyptAir flight MS804 killing 66 people last week.
The agreements were signed on behalf of President Adesina by the Bank’s Acting Vice-President, Operations, Country and Regional Programs and Policy, Janvier Litse, and Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr.