Nnenna Nwabufo, Deputy Director General

Desma Tunya, SIF Coordinator


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Improving Access to Water and Sanitation Services in Somalia

Project Title: Improving Access to Water and Sanitation Services in Somalia

  • Project Amount: US$ 11 million
  • Approval Date: November 2016
  • Closing Date: December 2020

Background Information

Access to improved water supply in Somalia is estimated at 32%, while populations with improved sanitation are estimated at a staggering 24%, one of the lowest in the world. Recurring droughts, now a common natural feature of Somalia, combined with internal displacement and a deteriorated network of water points to compound poor access, forcing supply needs often to be met through emergency operations, such as water trucking. Lack of access to clean and safe water has exacerbated incidences of water-borne diseases especially cholera which is endemic in Somalia. This has contributed to a high under-five child mortality rate of 133 per 1,000 live births. Climate change continues to negatively impact Somalia’s ability to achieve food and water security. In rural areas, an inadequate network of pastoral water structures that supply both domestic and livestock water remains the major cause of conflict between pastoralists and settled communities.

Taking due cognisance of the fragile situation in Somalia - where 25 years of protracted conflict and increased violence has contributed to social insecurity and undermined service delivery; the water project concentrates on (i) construction/rehabilitation of simple rural water supply/sanitation systems to improve access to water and sanitation services and (ii) building the capacity of the MoEWR in enhancing service delivery.  The adopted approach will contribute to both improving the quality of life for the beneficiaries and state building in Somalia

Involved Partners

  • Ministry of Energy and Water Resources
  • AfDB
  • UK Department for International Development
  • International Organization for Migration


The overall objective of the project is to improve access to water and sanitation services in rural areas of Somalia and contribute to reduced infant and under-5 mortality caused by WASH related diseases.


1.  Capacity Development

Activities include:

  • Development of WASH Strategies for MoEWR and four States
  • Rehabilitation/upgrading of state and national water agencies buildings
  • Procurement of equipment, vehicles and portable water quality monitoring equipment 
  • Training of key staff on water quality monitoring
  • Travel and study tour support

2.  Water Supply and Sanitation Infrastructure for Stability and Resilience

Activities include:

  • Construction/rehabilitation of 20 strategic water systems, incorporating sanitation facilities, and installation of solar water pumps
  • Construction of 53 mini solar powered/three tank water systems, with draw off and sanitation facilities
  • Sanitation facilities and rain water harvesting in 20 schools, markets and health institutions
  • Mobilisation/capacity building for communities and hygiene promotion
  • Environmental mitigation measures (tree nurseries, conservation measures etc.)

3.  Project Management

This relates to the day to day implementation of the project. It will entail the management cost of the Third Party Implementing Agency, as well as logistics and routine project operating expenses.

Project Beneficiaries

  • Direct beneficiaries include riverine and nomadic people and their livestock, IDP returnees, selected education facilities
  • Indirect beneficiaries include an estimated 1,300 local people, including youth and service providers including consultants, NGOs and contractors who will be employed during project implementation. Population in the project area and beyond will also benefit from hygiene promotion.