Washington, August 25, 2011 – A project designed to increase access to water for rural communities in Djibouti was signed today. The World Bank and the government of Djibouti pledged their support for the Rural Community Development and Water Mobilization Project (PRODERMO). The US$5.83 million IDA grant will primarily be used to finance small-scale community projects to help farmers and pastoralists in Djibouti to cope with the three to four harshest months of the dry season. It is estimated that around 3,000 households would benefit directly from the Project including approximately 24% of the rural population in Obock, one of the poorest regions of Djibouti.
“The project takes on a renewed importance and urgency today, given the hardships faced by the poorest rural communities in the face of the ongoing and exceptional drought affecting the Horn of Africa region,” said David Craig, Country Director for Djibouti, Egypt and Yemen at the World Bank, “The Bank stands ready to provide the support and assistance in any way needed to ensure the timely initiation of project activities on the ground. We look forward to further strengthening our ongoing partnership with Djibouti.”
Djibouti is extremely water-scarce averaging around 150mm of rainfall a year. Responding to the acute scarcity affecting the rural and pastoral populations, particularly during the dry season, the Government of Djibouti launched a Program for Mobilization of Surface Water and Sustainable Land Management in 2007. The PRODERMO project signed today will expand this program into two new geographic regions including the arid areas of Khor Angar-Obock in the northern region of Obock and Cheiketi-Hanlé in the southern region of Dikhil. The project will seek to enhance livestock and agricultural production, and rural development in general.