African Development Fund, the concessional window of the African Development Bank Group, has approved a $125.3 million loan to million to expand water resources and boost climate resilience in Dodoma region of Tanzania.
Dodoma city in central Tanzania, seats in a semi-arid region of East Africa with limited rains and surface water resources. The area largely depends on shallow and deep aquifers for its freshwater needs. Residents of Dodoma are also experience harsh climatic conditions, chronic lack of year-round surface water bodies and, limited development of water distribution infrastructure.
Key environmental challenges have been identified by residents in Dodoma as drought, accompanied by changing rain patterns and a destabilization of cropping and harvesting seasons, deforestation, resulting in land degradation, reduced fuel wood and increased burden on women who source it, flooding, exacerbating erosion, human and livestock disease, and limited groundwater recharge.
In Tanzania, 43 percent of the population lack access to basic drinking water and only 25 percent use safely managed sanitation. There are also serious concerns about water supply services. In 2016, 40 percent of rural water points didn’t work, with many failing in the first year after construction.
Moreover, climate change will only aggravate this situation and the National Climate Change Strategy recognises water resources and infrastructure as key sectors/themes where climate change adaptation must be prioritised.
The $125.3 million loan approved on Wednesday by Board of Director of the African Development Fund, is aimed at financing the first phase of the Dodoma Resilient and Sustainable Water Development and Sanitation Programme.
Specifically, the loan will cover the construction of a dam and water treatment plant to address supply challenges in Dodoma City and the towns of Bahi, Chemba and Chamwino.
The programme aims to improve water supply for multi-purpose use by developing water resources for Dodoma City and the three towns. It is expected to enhance access to potable water for two million people and provide better sanitation services for about 1.5 million people by 2051. Around 52% of the beneficiaries will be female.
It will also ensure the sustainability of the water resources with related improved community management by catchment protection and management and build resilience against climate change and variability.
In addition, the program will create more than 640 jobs (140 permanent and 500 temporary) during the construction and operation of the dam and the water treatment plant.
The Bank’s Director of Water Development and Sanitation, Osward Chanda said the programme will contribute towards the attainment of national targets and Sustainable Development Goals (Goal #6) on water and sanitation by 2030 and strengthen water, sanitation and hygiene services as essential barriers to waterborne diseases, including prevention against Covid-19, in communities, healthcare facilities, schools, and other public places.
The Bank Group is financing 94 per cent of the $132.9 million estimated cost of the first phase. The Tanzanian government will provide counterpart funding of the remaining 6 percent. The Ministry of Water will execute the programme, which is expected to take off in March 2022.
The proposed programme is part of a series of infrastructure projects supported by the Bank Group in Tanzania, aimed at accelerating the achievement of the country’s long-term development aspirations of becoming a middle-income and semi-industrialized economy by 2025, as outlined in the Tanzania Development Vision 2025.
The programme also aligns with the Bank Group’s Ten-Year Strategy (2013-2022) objectives of inclusive growth and gradual transition to green growth. It is expected to contribute to one of the Bank’s High 5 priorities, namely improving the quality of life of the people of Africa.