The African Water Facility and the African Development Fund have approved a grant of €7,640,590 for a four-year project to support climate resilient drinking water and sanitation services, in four rural regions of Niger.
The project aims to improve access of rural and vulnerable populations in Maradi, Tahoua, Tillaberi, and Zinder to sustainable drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services through the preparation of a new climate-resilient Drinking Water Supply investment project, strengthen climate resilience in the rural water and sanitation sub-sector, and support COVID-19 recovery and prevention.
The project will develop tools to integrate climate resilience and gender in WASH, and strengthen the capacities of rural stakeholders in the sustainable management of drinking water and sanitation infrastructure, climate resilience, and behaviour change in hygiene.
“This is an important and timely project designed to build climate resilience in the water and sanitation sector in Niger – a country in the heart of the Sahel that is experiencing the heavy impacts of climate change. We’re pleased to support the government to improve water and sanitation services for poor and vulnerable people, and also support the local economy,” said Mtchera Chirwa, Coordinator, African Water Facility.
Expected outcomes of the project include the development of 21 autonomous water stations, 12 mini-water supply systems and 14 multi-village Drinking Water Supply systems in Zinder and Tahoua; 20 water connections in schools and health facilities; protection of 14 well fields of multi-village water supply boreholes; and experimentation of the water service prepayment card on 8 standpipes in the four municipalities with a study and learning trip for 12 people on service prepayment card. The project will also result in the creation of approximately 1,100 jobs.
A campaign to inform, educate and communicate on water management in 113 villages, involving 226 people at least 50% of whom will be women, will be implemented as part of the project. In rural areas, there will also be capacity building in municipal project management, operation and maintenance within the framework of the water public services manual and 128 government officials will be trained, at least 30% of whom are women.
Additional outcomes include access to drinking water for an estimated 36,596 internally displaced persons in the Tahoua region; the development of 20 local water and sanitation plans and 84 blocks of institutional and public latrines with cabins which are gender sensitive; supply of 168 hand washing devices; 1,327 certified open defecation free villages; training for 64 people in sanitation marketing; establishment of 8 points of sale for sanitation materials and equipment; training for 1,200 school girls in menstrual hygiene management and distribution of menstrual hygiene kits to each; training for 40 women in the manufacture of reusable sanitary pads; development of a climate-resilient drinking water supply feasibility and implementation document covering 150 drinking water supply systems in the four regions with an estimated 1,500,000 beneficiaries.
Furthermore, nearly 400,800 people, 52% of whom are women, will be sensitized for the adoption of good practices for behavioural change on menstrual hygiene in schools, gender-based violence, and COVID-19.
The African Water Facility will contribute €4,779,237 to the total project cost with the African Development Fund contributing 2 million Unit of Accounts (equivalent to €2,463,580). The project will be implemented by Niger’s Ministry of Hydraulics and Sanitation.