WASHINGTON, April 26, 2011 – Universal access to safe water and sanitation in Niger at an acceptable rate will be enhanced with the Urban Water and Sanitation Project (UWSP) with a new US$90 million from the World Bank.
Half a million people in Niamey and in 23 other cities and secondary urban centers will gain direct access to piped water through the expansion of water production, storage and distribution capacities, and the installation of household water connections and public standpipes. The construction of thousands of wastewater facilities will also provide improved sanitation services to 295,000 people, including 60,000 students in schools.
According to Ousmane Diagana, World Bank Country Director for Niger, “with the UWSP, Niger will consolidate the achievements of the ongoing reform in the urban water sub-sector for universal access to basic services to all, at an acceptable tariff based on cost recovery, with particular attention to the poor strata which have always received a special treatment in tariff policy.”
This successful reform is based on an appropriate institutional framework with clearly defined responsibilities, based on the principles of transparency, accountability, and autonomy.
Mr. Diagana indicated that “the success story in the water and sanitation sector in Niger is the result of a strong political commitment of the Government and sustained support from development partners.”
“With this new credit, the World Bank financing in the water and sanitation sector will reach US$148 million in Niger in a decade,” said Matar Fall, the World Bank Task Team Leader. He noted that a similar credit in the amount of US$58 million had been granted by the International Development Association to Niger in 2001 to finance the Water Sector Project.
The Urban Water and Sanitation project was approved by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors on April 26, 2011, and the credit agreement was signed on May 12, 2011, by the Country Director for Niger, Mr. Diagana and Mr. Cissé Boubacar, Minister of State, Minister for Planning, Spatial Planning and Community Development of Niger.