WASHINGTON, November 21, 2013 - The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved an International Development Association (IDA)* credit of US$80 million to boost water supply for Bamako and improve access and quality of service in the capital city.
“The Kabala Project is fully aligned with the Bank’s Interim Strategy Note (ISN) for Mali covering the period 2014-15, which defines the short-term reengagement strategy in Mali after the crisis, particularly, its third pillar that aims to prepare conditions for economic recovery,” said Ousmane Diagana, World Bank Country Director for Mali.
The Kabala Project aims to increase water production for Bamako by an additional capacity of 144,000 m3 per day, to respond to immediate water supply deficits, meet rising water demand; expand water storage, transmission and distribution capacity; and facilitate access to improved water services by constructing water points for households and communities.
“The number of direct project beneficiaries is estimated at 610,000 people. 390,000 additional people would get access to improved water sources through household connections and stand posts and 220,000 people −already connected to the existing water networks but facing low water pressure and intermittent service− would benefit from an enhanced (24/7) water service”, explained Matar Fall, Lead Water and Sanitation Specialist and World Bank Task Team Leader for the project.
Eleven donors, including IDA, will be participating in the Kabala Project through parallel financing arrangements for a total funding envelope of US$400 million.
The access rate to safe drinking water in Mali was estimated in 2012 at 68.5 percent of the population (66.3 percent in rural areas and 74.6 percent in urban areas, lower in Bamako, the capital city). Since 2001, progress has been made in expanding access, but the objective of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets of 78 percent of the population served in rural areas and 91 percent in urban areas remains a challenge.
The population without access to adequate water sources is vulnerable to water-borne diseases and the lack of maintenance and underinvestment put at risk gains made in the expansion of services. This is evidenced by the large number of rural water systems that are not operational and the insufficient water production and distribution capacity in Bamako, the capital city.
The development of water supply services in Bamako has been limited since 2003 by an investment backlog that created several bottlenecks including (i) limited production capacity, 198,000 cubic meters (m3) per day against a water demand of 380,000 m3 per day, meaning a water supply deficit of 48 percent; (ii) 80 percent of the water production capacity is located on the left bank of the Niger River, whereas half of the population lives on the right bank; (iii) limited capacity of the transmission mains between the two river banks; (iv) limited water storage capacity, particularly in higher-lying areas of the city.
These bottlenecks impact both the availability and quality of the water service as evidenced by low and uneven development of access through household connections, which reaches only 40 percent of the population of Bamako; and insufficient pressure in the water distribution networks causing frequent interruptions in water service delivery, particularly on the right bank of Niger River where half of the consumers are negatively impacted.
The project is expected to become effective by February 2014 and completed by 31 December 2018.
* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing loans (called “credits”) and grants for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 81 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 108 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $15 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going to Africa.