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Tunis, 28 January 2009 - The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group Board of Directors has approved a loan of 40 million Units of Account (UA)*, equivalent to US$ 61.6 million, to help finance a Semi-Urban Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation project in Cameroon.
The Project, to be financed by the African Development Fund (ADF), the concessionary window of the AfDB Group, will cover 19 councils in the Central, Far North, Littoral, West, South and South-West provinces of the country.
The project aims at improving the living environment of the communities through better access to drinking water and sanitation in 19 council areas: Akono, Bafia, Ngoumou, Kousseri, Loum, Manjo, Mbanga, Nkonsamba, Bafan, Banka, Bana, Banganté, Bangou, Bansoa Penka-Michel, Foumban, Ebolowa, Sangmélima, Kumba and Mamfe).
Lack of drinking water and sanitation services in the areas was highlighted in the 2008-2009 Country Strategy Paper (CSP) approved by the Bank Group after a mid-term review conducted in September 2007. The CSP underscores the need to improve access to drinking water supply and sanitation. The ADF loan falls under the second pillar of the CSP relating to infrastructure development to combat poverty.
The Project will benefit 1.15 million residents of the cities, 51% of whom are women. It will also benefit the Cameroon Water Utilities Corporation (CAMWATER), the Camerounaise des Eaux - Cameroon Water Company (CDE), the Directorate of Water Resources and Hydrology branch offices, municipalities, SMEs, women’s and youth associations that will be involved in its implementation.
The Project is expected to increase the average rate of access to drinking water in the towns concerned from 24% to 80% and access to sanitation services from 13% to 40% by 2013. The average prevalence rate of water and sanitation-related diseases are expected to decline by half during this period. Furthermore, the project will create employment during its implementation and after its completion in the form of micro-enterprises in the water and sanitation sector.
The total project cost is estimated at UA 45.58 million. The ADF loan accounts for 87.76% of the cost. The government will contribute UA 4.48 million while beneficiaries (urban communes) will contribute UA 1.10 million.
*1 UA = US$ 1.54027 as at 28/01/2009