WASHINGTON, December 19, 2016— The World Bank has provided $68 million in financing to Benin to improve water and sanitation services through the Benin Small Town Water Supply and Urban Septage Management project (PEPRAU). This project will help increase access to rural drinking water supply and wastewater treatment services in the urban and peri-urban areas of the Grand Nokoué communes, while strengthening the capacities of the actors involved in the provision of these public services.
“This project will help the authorities provide sustainable water supply services in rural centers and improve management of the fecal sludge treatment and disposal system in urban areas, while enhancing the professionalization of these services,” says Pierre Laporte, World Bank Country Director for Benin.
This new project will make it possible to scale up the subsidized concession model that was tested in three Beninese municipalities in 2014 with World Bank support, in an effort to promote an enhanced public-private partnership model, offering investment opportunities under contract to local private sector operators providing rural drinking water services across the country. It is also builds on several other Bank-funded operations in Benin, such as the inclusive business support project for businesses managing village water supply systems.
This funding will also expand the role of local governments by enabling them to manage their assets and effectively plan investments in the rural drinking water supply sub-sector.
More than one million persons, nearly 50 percent of whom are women and girls, should benefit from this project. Nearly 432,000 persons living in rural centers will be connected to the water supply networks and will thus have better access to water. In addition, 764,100 persons will benefit from improved sanitation services, including through social marketing campaigns, from a more well-organized sludge [treatment] and disposal system and proper infrastructure.
“This project supports the Government’s goal of providing universal access to drinking water, making communes responsible for providing water services, and ensuring better management of water resources and the regulated participation of the local private sector in service delivery. We are confident that it will help the authorities address the needs of the Beninese people by ensuring the sustainability of water and sanitation service delivery,” added Pierre Laporte.
* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low- to zero-interest loans 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 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since its inception, IDA has supported development work in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $19 billion over the past three years, with about 50 percent going to Africa.