(AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK) - The Board of Directors has approved a ZAR 720 million loan to finance the Manzini Region Water Supply and Sanitation Project in eSwatini (former Swaziland). The project aims to expand access to adequate water and sanitation services for all citizens and to contribute to economic development and poverty alleviation in Eswatini.
The Manzini region is the most populous region in eSwatini, but it is beset by inadequate water supply and poor sanitation services. Only 22% of the population receive reliable water services from the water utility, eSwatini Water Services Corporation (EWSC), and only 35% have access to improved sanitation services.
The project will improve the livelihoods of more than 67,000 inhabitants in the four peri-urban areas of the Manzini region, namely Nhlambeni, Manzini South, Mthongwaneni, and Mafutseni. This is through expanding adequate safe water and improved sanitation services to more than 90% and 75% in the project beneficiary areas respectively.
The project meets the drinking water requirements of Manzini and surrounding areas and reduces the risk of environmental pollution of the ground water through the provision of appropriate sanitation services. The project will also catalyse social and economic transformation in the area.
“Access to safe water and good sanitation is a fundamental right for all people. This project not only allows the people of eSwatini to enjoy their right to water and sanitation, but also sets them on a path to social and economic transformation”, said Josephine Ngure, Deputy Director General, Southern Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office.
The project will be implemented over a period of four years, at a total cost of ZAR 807.5 million.
According to Gladys Wambui Gichuri, Director of Water and Sanitation, the African Development Bank Group is committed to supporting the Government of eSwatini in its efforts to realize its Vision 2022 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) regarding the provision of essential services for water supply and sanitation. “The Bank is confident that the approved resources will complement the Government’s efforts towards development goals.”
The project is aligned with eSwatini’s Vision 2022, and its National Development Strategy, and to Pillar I of the Bank’s Country Strategy Paper (2014-2018) supporting infrastructure development for sustainable and inclusive growth. The project is also consistent with the Bank’s Ten Year Strategy (2013-2022) focussing on the High 5s priorities, mainly on improving the quality of life of Africans.