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TUNISIA: AfDB approves water sector investment loan (16/12/08)

The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has approved an €22.91 million ($31.3 million) loan to finance phase two of Tunisia’s water sector investment project (PISEAU II).

PISEAU II is a component of the Tunisian water mobilisation and management strategy for 2002-2011, and a sequel to PISEAU I (2002 to 2007). The main objective of the new project is to promote efficient and integrated management of conventional water resources including dams, catchment ponds, boreholes and surface wells, as well as non-conventional water sources – wastewater and brackish water – to meet the challenge of water scarcity in the country.

The project’s beneficiaries will be Tunisia’s rural population, especially the most disadvantaged, across the country’s 24 governorates.

The project will help improve living conditions by increasing the amount of irrigated agriculture and providing a better supply of drinking water. It will also foster adaptation to climate change. The beneficiaries will participate in decisions about the choice of investments for the project, and in infrastructure management through Agricultural Development Groups (ADGs) (for irrigation and drinking water), which will benefit from capacity building activities under the project.

The project promotes efficient integrated water resources management by establishing a national information system for water resources and participatory management by the ADGs.

Implementation will begin in 2009 and will last five years. The total project cost is € 122.01 million ($167.56 million). The project will be co-financed by the French Development Agency (AFD), the World Bank and the Tunisian government.
Lis Stedman