WASHINGTON, May 29, 2007 – The World Bank’s Executive Board today approved an International Development Association (IDA) credit* of US$80 million for a project aimed at increasing access of the urban population, particularly those living in low income settlements, to basic infrastructure and services, including water supply in Cameroon.
To achieve this objective, the project will provide capacity building in urban management and support the decentralization and completion of the national urban strategy. The project equally finances infrastructure works in low income settlements in Douala, Yaoundé, Bamenda, Mbalmayo and Maroua. In the water sector, the project provides support to water sector reforms, in particular the implementation of the public-private partnership in urban water services, the rehabilitation of urban water facilities and the expansion of secondary and tertiary distribution networks.
The project is expected to deliver significant social benefits by improving the living and environmental conditions of low-income communities. The project will also attempt to meet the shared objectives of the Country Assistance Strategy, Interim Strategy Note and Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper to meet the social concerns of the population, especially those living in low income areas, and involve communities in subprojects designed to improve living conditions.
For this purpose, the project will initiate innovative city development contracts between beneficiary communities, local authorities and the central government to agree on priority interventions in the context of a defined program. Women, youth and marginalized groups will be involved and adequately represented in key-decision making consultations through neighborhood agreements between municipalities and neighborhoods. “The project aims to support decentralization by empowering local governments and communities,” says Chantal Reliquet, the World Bank Task Team Leader of the project.
The cost of the Urban and Water Development Support Project in Cameroon stands at US$80 million (approximately CFAF 40 billion). This project is a specific investment loan whose objective is to support the creation, rehabilitation, and maintenance of infrastructure. In addition, the project will facilitate the allocation of US$10 million in grant money from a Global Partnership for Output-Based Aid grant for social water connections.
At the completion of the project, the following outcomes are expected:
(i) Increased access to infrastructure and services;
(ii) Strengthened capacity and accountability of local governments, particularly of Douala, Yaoundé, Bamenda, Mbalmayo and Maroua to plan, implement, and maintain the delivery of infrastructure and services;
(iii) Strengthened sustainability and capacity to manage and develop water supply services;
Environmentally, the project has been classified as category B. All activities identified under the project are not expected to have major adverse environmental impact. Investments will include small infrastructure works (mainly secondary/tertiary roads and drainage), as well as construction or repair of social facilities such as classrooms or health centers, and extension of water networks and social connections.