Addis Ababa - The first financing agreements for the improvement of water infrastructures were signed on 3 February between the Water Resources Development Fund (WRDF) and 8 Town Water Utilities (TWU), under the "Urban WASH" program of the Italian cooperation. TWUs are municipal water companies, specialised in the management of water supplies, which may apply for soft loans from the WRDF for the construction or improvement of infrastructure. Based on the evaluation of the projects, the WRDF may grant funds drawn from resources in a revolving fund that is powered through the support of the Italian cooperation.
The project "Support the WASH Sector in Urban Areas" aims at improving access to drinking water and hygienic / health services in five cities of Ethiopia, in four different regions: Ahmara, Oromia, Snnpr and Tigray.
The project is funded through a contribution to the fund managed by the Water Resource Development Fund, which operates under the Ethiopian Ministry of Water and Energy in order to provide soft loans to municipal water companies for the rehabilitation and extension of water schemes and urban hygienic / health services. In total, the resources made available to the fund are approximately 19 million euros, of which 15 are classified as debt relief and 3.5 as a grant.
Once the loans are repaid, the funds will be reinvested in similar projects, thus continuing a positive and sustainable path. The contribution of the Italian cooperation also includes capacity building activities for municipal water companies and WRDF technicians.