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Egypt: AfDB funds sanitation infrastructure for rural communities

The African Development Bank Group will loan Egypt $129,8 million (€109 million) to improve sanitation infrastructure and services to rural communities in Luxor Governorate in Egypt’s Upper Nile region.

The financing consists of a $128,6 million (€108 million) loan from the Bank and a grant of $1,19 million (€1 million) from the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI) – an Africa-wide initiative hosted by the AfDB.

The funding will help meet the Egyptian government’s financing requirements in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also support a sound water and sanitation infrastructure base – a key enabler for the country’s inclusive development. The Integrated Rural Sanitation in Upper Egypt-Luxor (IRSUE-Luxor) project should boost sewage coverage in the region from 6% to 55%, improving the quality of life of citizens, including women and children, who are most affected by poor sanitation.

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Rania Al-Mashat, Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation: “Promoting efficient, equitable and sustainable economic development through integrated water resources management is a priority for the Government of Egypt. The IRSUE-Luxor initiative unlocks the socio-economic development potential for inclusive and green growth.”

About 22,000 households (240,000 inhabitants) will benefit from on-site and off-site facilities, through an integrated system of sewerage networks, sludge treatment and wastewater treatment plants.

IRSUE-Luxor contributes to the National Rural Sanitation Program established by the Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities, which aims to expand nationwide access to sanitation services from 34% currently to 60% in 2030. The project also complements the national Haya Karima (Decent Life) initiative that aims to help rural communities across Egypt access essential infrastructure services to improve their living conditions and livelihoods.

Supporting ongoing sector reform in Egypt through infrastructure development

The project will also include a staff training component to strengthen performance within the Luxor Water and Wastewater Company.

Malinne Blomberg, AfDB deputy director-general for North Africa: “This intervention is not just about infrastructure development. An essential part of the project is supporting ongoing sector reforms.”

One of several initiatives supported by the AfDB in Egypt to optimise the use of the country’s water resources, IRSUE-Luxor will enable about 30,000 cubic meters of treated wastewater per day to be discharged into drainage and irrigation canals and re-used to enhance agricultural output.

The initiative is in line with the Bank’s water sector policy, which promotes efficient, equitable and sustainable development through integrated water resources management. In addition, the operation supports tariff regulation to achieve full cost recovery, which is one of the basic principles of the Bank’s water sector policy.

Read more about The Integrated Rural Sanitation in Upper Egypt-Luxor (IRSUE-Luxor) in the AfDB appraisal report online.

Theresa Smith
Theresa Smith is a Content Specialist for ESI Africa.