By Khalifa Hemed
Published February 22, 2018
Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, is set to have its first wastewater treatment plant and public sewerage network, thanks to funding from European Investment Bank (EIB).
The 25-year EIB loan will finance the EUR 45 million sewage and wastewater project alongside the Government of Rwanda and African Development Bank (AfDB).
“Kigali is one of the fastest growing cities in Africa and investment in water and sanitation is crucial to improve health and reduce pollution. The Government of Rwanda welcomes the backing for the European Investment Bank and other international partners for the Kigali Centralized Sewerage project. The EIB has played a key role supporting the technical, economic and environmental studies essential for the successful design of this scheme.” says Claver Gatete, Rwandan Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.
“Construction of Kigali’s first wastewater network and treatment plant will improve health, reduce pollution and carbon emissions, as well as make Kigali an even better place to live and work,” says Maria Shaw-Barragan, Director of EIB.
“The European Union recognises the importance of new investment in wastewater to achieve sustainable development goals.This is a key project in the history of the city of Kigali that will benefit thousands of residents in the years ahead.”says Ambassador, Nicola Bellomo, Ambassador of the European Union to Rwanda.
Once operational, the sewage network and wastewater treatment plant is expected to significantly improve public health through a reduction of waterborne diseases and reduce pollution in the Nyabarongo and Akagera rivers and Lake Victoria. The plant will not only be expanded to cater for additional demand and the new sewage network planned to minimise disruption of existing road and urban infrastructure by future expansion, but is also aimed at improving wastewater infrastructure in the city besides enhancing attractiveness of Kigali for companies.
EIB, touted as being the world’s largest international public bank and the largest lender for water investment worldwide, says the experience it has gained from involvement in water projects across Africa and worldwide strengthens its ongoing technical support for the scheme and wastewater projects currently planned elsewhere shall be modelled on the Kigali project.
EIB, that says it provided EUR 2.6 billion for new investment across Africa. Projects supported include improving agriculture, energy, telecom, transport and water infrastructure, as well as strengthening microfinance lending and private sector investment across the continent in 2017, says its funding of the Kigali project represents the largest ever financing by EIB in Rwanda in 40 years of operations in the Central African country and the first support for public sector investment since 2000.
The bank says it has provided more than EUR 1.7 billion for transformational water and waste water investment across Africa over the last decade. This has included improving water infrastructure in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.