AFRICAN Development Bank (AfDB) has expressed satisfaction on Tanzania’s implementation of water and sanitation projects, promising to continue working closely with the government towards the target of availing water and sanitation services to more citizens.
AfDB Director of Water and Sanitation Department Mohamed El Azizi said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the bank has financed a number of water and sanitation projects in Tanzania and in Africa in general.
Mr El Azizi was speaking at sixth Africa Water Week, which started on July 18 through July 22, under the theme of achieving Sustainable Development Goals on Water Security and Sanitation.
The continent’s development financier has since 2001 approved nine water and sanitation operations in Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar at a total cost of about 700 million US dollars (over 1.5trn/-).
The director advised the government and development partners to increase funding for water and sanitation projects to address the problem of access to reliable water and sanitation services facing a number of African countries.
The bank indicated that for Africa to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals there must be political commitment, prioritisation of water and sanitation issues, as well as more budget allocation to the water and sanitation sector.
Mr El Azizi challenged the government and development partners to set sufficient budgets for water interventions.
“At the African Development Bank we are already supporting large scale water and sanitation projects like the Arusha Sustainable Urban Water and Sanitation Project which will cost over 200 million US dollars,” he said.
The AfDB recently agreed to focus on five priority actions and goals which will help to transform the African continent. The five priority goals, which AfDB calls the “High 5s for Africa” are: Light Up and Power Africa; Feed Africa; Industrialise Africa; Integrate Africa and Improve the Quality of Life for Africans which will directly contribute to the development of the water infrastructure and the water security.
According to the director, water and sanitation will remain one of the key development challenges facing communities and nations of Africa since it will have direct impacts on the economic growth and on the attainment of most other Sustainable Development Goals, the international targets that replaced the Millennium Development Goals in 2015.
Africa is one of the developing regions which have not met the drinking water and sanitation targets. More than 50 per cent of Africa’s population currently does not have access to safe and reliable water and sanitation services.
Also an estimated one million Africans die every year from lack of adequate sanitation, hygiene or from water borne diseases.