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AfDB and EBRD to upgrade sanitation infrastructure in Tunisia

By Nibal Zgheib

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€150 million programme to upgrade the sanitation infrastructure in 33 Tunisian small areas.

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  • €150 million programme to upgrade the sanitation infrastructure in 33 Tunisian small areas
  • Developing the sanitation network to alleviate environmental pollution and health risks
  • 7.71 million m3 increase of treated wastewater per year

Nearly 200,000 inhabitants of small areas in Tunisia will benefit from significant environmental improvements thanks to a total amount of 150 million euros loan granted to ONAS and co-financed equally by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Signed in Tunis with the Ministry of Development, Investment and International Cooperation (MDICI) and ONAS, the AfDB and EBRD loan will finance the sanitation program for small municipalities with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants.

This programme  is in line with the strategies of both institutions in the water and sanitation sector, will include the construction of 24 new wastewater treatment plants, the expansion of sanitation network systems over 862 kilometers 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. 

Including a capacity-building component for the National Office for Sanitation (ONAS) and targeted communes, the program will help Tunisia to sustain the management of its sanitation systems and support private sector participation in infrastructure. The program 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 AfDB North Africa Office, Antoine Sallé de Chou, Head of the EBRD Office in Tunisia and Abdelmajid Bettaieb, President and CEO of ONAS

About the AfDB-EBRD Cooperation:

As a result of close collaboration between the two institutions teams, this program reflects the desire of the two development banks to strengthen their cooperation in North Africa. An agreement on this program has already been signed on 8 November 2018 at the AfDB's Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg, through which the EBRD is delegating project implementation to the AfDB.

The AfDB and the EBRD are identifying a portfolio of joint operations to be carried out in the region, particularly in the areas of agribusiness, financial inclusion of small and medium-sized enterprises, entrepreneurship and public-private partnerships.

As part of this partnership, AfDB and EBRD co-financed in 2015 Nador West Med Port Complex Project in Morocco for a total amount of about 313 million euros.

Since the beginning of their operations in Tunisia, the AfDB and the EBRD have invested respectively US$ 9.5 billion (since 1967) and US$ 830 million (since 2012).

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