GROUNDWATER ASSESSMENT, AQUIFER MAPPING AND WELL DEVELOPMENT
- Reference: P-ER-EAZ-003
- Approval date: 18/11/2016
- Start date: 08/05/2017
- Appraisal Date: 22/08/2016
- Status: OngoingOnGo
- Implementing Agency: MINISTRY OF LAND WATER AND ENVIRONNEMENT
- Location: Rural parts of the State of Eritrea
The scope of the preparatory activities includes identifying consultants to carry out detailed hydrogeological studies and aquifer mapping including geophysical surveys. The activities further include identification of priority aquifers and recruitment of a drilling firm to construct production wells, test pump them and conduct water quality tests before capping in preparation for the investment operation (the RWSISPRC).
The objectives of implementing the preparatory activities under the PPF are:
(i) to establish the available potential of the national water resources and maximize its availability for sustainable use, and
(ii) to assess the viability of the existing management system including the tariff structure, the operations and maintenance (O&M) O&M practices in order to ultimately secure sustainable operations of the RWSISPRC.
The overriding sector goal is that surface and groundwater resources are well defined and assessed to ensure availability of sufficient quantity and good quality water for all uses. The sector however needs assessments that will lead to practical and direct use of the results to provide sustainable water especially for the rural communities. The National Water Supply Action Plan 2013-2017 reflects a 91% urban served population and a lower rural served population of about 68%. Years of poor rainfall have led to severe draughts affecting 60-70% of the country. Careful groundwater assessment should identify aquifers that will provide sustainable water supply especially for the areas with water scarcity. Use of the PPF becomes more appropriate to support preparatory activities that would lead to an infrastructure operation with more sustainable results. GoSE submitted a request for Bank financing support for the proposed Groundwater Resources Assessment and Mapping in November 2015. Engagements with GoSE and development agencies reflects the strong urgency for the intervention in the rural communities which makes the PPF most suitable. The PPF advance activities comes at an opportune time when the country is preparing the next country strategy paper (CSP). This allows for inclusion of the follow-up investment operation in the next CSP.
The project targets underprivileged sectors of the population living in the rural areas. These communities currently obtain water from unimproved sources resulting in high prevalence of water related diseases. The unimproved water sources are mostly located far from their villages (about 3-4 km away) and the time spent to collect water is considerable. It follows that the opportunity costs of the lack of access to sustainable water supply are numerous and include poor health and educational outcomes, and missed life and business opportunities. These scenarios are expected to change once the improved water sources within reasonable reach of the communities are implemented. Water resources information is of high value to the proper development of the nation's water resources. The groundwater resources will also be adequately protected from deterioration in quality and from over exploitation and will be built up through various techniques of recharge and watershed management.
OGAL Nancy Aileen Nereah Adhiambo - RDGE2