WASHINGTON, May 8, 2014 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$6.4 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA*) to help Benin recover after heavy rains flooded the country in 2010. As a result of the flooding, 278 schools were flooded, and more than 50,000 houses were destroyed, leaving 150,000 people without shelter, according to the 2010 World Bank Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) document.
The funds target the upgrading, cleaning and repairs of urban drainage networks, solid waste management, and wastewater and sanitation infrastructure. It will also support a more effective disaster risk preparedness and management plan designed to save lives and reduce economic losses in the event of future flooding.
The IDA funds support the expansion of the on-going Emergency Urban Environment Project (EUEP), one of the Government of Benin’s flagship projects for addressing the dire effects of the 2010 floods disaster. The Government will contribute an additional US$400,000 as its counterpart contribution to the total project cost.
“Today’s project continues the World Bank Group’s development commitment to respond to the disaster in Benin affecting thousands of people who have lost income and food security following the 2010 flooding,” said Ousmane Diagana, World Bank Country Director for Benin. “By focusing on upgrades for drainage networks and municipal solid waste collection, the funds will restore much needed sanitary services, and will benefit poor families by helping to prevent future losses, such as ruined crops and farmland, that can occur from flooding.”
The project will directly benefit some 20,000 people in Cotonou and the four other participating municipalities of Abomey-Calavi, Seme-Podji, Ouidah and Porto. The infrastructure improvements also will reduce any health hazards related to the mix of rain runoff with latrine and septic tank contents that occurred in 2010.
Preparedness activities related to flood risks are already well underway. Today’s additional funds support the development of an early warning system, an information and awareness-raising program about floods, and help to strengthen key institutions that oversee the Floods and other Disasters.
“The expansion of the Emergency Urban Environment Project helps to lay the groundwork for fully operational wastewater and solid waste management systems in Benin’s 77 municipalities, boosting the resilience of the country’s economy and preparing the people to avoid flood related risks before the next heavy rain falls,” said Africa Eshogba Olojoba, World Bank Task Team Leader for this Project.
* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing zero-interest loans 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 82 poorest countries, 40 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 $16 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going to Africa.