Tunisia: AfDB, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development invest €150 million to improve sanitation in small municipalities

  • Written by  Bob Koigi

The African Development Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have signed a loan agreement with the Ministry of Development, Investment and International Cooperation (MDICI) and the National Office for Sanitation (ONAS) to finance the sanitation programme for small municipalities with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants.

Nearly 200,000 inhabitants of small municipalities in Tunisia will benefit from significant environmental improvements thanks to a 150 million euros loan granted to ONAS and co-financed equally by the two institutions.

This programme is aligned with the strategies of both institutions in the water and sanitation sector, and will include the construction of 24 new wastewater treatment plants, the expansion by 862 kilometers of sanitation network systems and the construction of 30 new pumping stations. It will promote better conditions of health, hygiene, environment and economic development for 33 small municipalities spread over 19 governorates.

This improvement will help alleviate environmental pollution and health risks linked to the current low level of sanitation services. It will also increase the amount of treated wastewater by 7.71 million m3 per year thus raising the availability of useable water in the area.

Incorporating a capacity-building component for the National Office for Sanitation (ONAS) and targeted communes, the programme will help Tunisia to sustain the management of its sanitation systems and support private sector participation in infrastructure.

The programme will contribute to a new dynamic of development and investment, a source of employment for young people in priority regions.

The signing ceremony at MDICI headquarters was co-chaired by HE. Zied Laadhari, Minister of Development, Investment and International Cooperation, Mohamed El Azizi, Director General of the African Development Bank North Africa Office, Antoine Sallé de Chou, Head of the EBRD Office in Tunisia and Abdelmajid Bettaieb, President and CEO of ONAS.

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