Dh8B ADFD funds flow for water projects across 56 countries
Water sector projects account for 12 per cent of the ADFD's total expenditure.
Abu Dhabi - Fund actively supports UN's Sustainable Development Goals' sixth goal, which is clean water and sanitation
From its inception in 1971 until December 2018, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has financed 108 water sector projects in 56 countries with a total value of Dh8 billion.
The fund's interest in water and electricity projects reflects its keenness to support international efforts aimed at achieving the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, directly contributing to the sixth goal - clean water and sanitation.
According to an ADFD report issued to mark World Water Day that falls on March 22, water sector projects account for 12 per cent of the fund's total expenditure. Advancing the development of other key sectors, such as agriculture, irrigation and energy, these projects have positively impacted millions of people through generating about 9,000MW of hydroelectric power in total.
The ADFD has funded the construction of 63 dams and the implementation of 30 drinking water and irrigation networks. Having contributed to the development and reclamation of vast areas of agricultural land, its strategic water projects have also helped enhance food security in beneficiary countries.
Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, director-general of the ADFD, said: "In line with its mission of driving sustainable development and elevating living standards in developing countries, the ADFD views vigorous development of the water sector as a top priority. World Water Day presents an ideal opportunity to raise awareness of water-related issues and to renew our commitment to identifying solutions to current and future global water challenges."
"The water sector is a fundamental pillar of development in terms of employment, national income and self-sufficiency of food resources. An adequate supply of water plays an instrumental role in the success of agricultural projects and sustainable power generation," he added.
On March 22, countries across the globe celebrate World Water Day, announced by the UN General Assembly in 1992. With more than 660 million people lacking access to reliable water sources, the international community seeks to adopt efficient water management practices that are sustainable in the long term.
As part of its efforts to support sustainable development in key socio-economic sectors, the ADFD has funded multiple vital water projects. Notable projects include the Zanzibar rural water project in Tanzania, which seeks to ensure adequate water supplies, providing, through ADFD financing, a reliable source of drinking water for seven villages on two islands.
Another critical project is the Serat Dam in Tunisia, where the ADFD helped build a valley dam with a storage capacity of 21 million cubic metres of water to irrigate agricultural lands in Ouled Ghanem and Mahjouba areas, enhancing agricultural production within a sizeable geographical area inhabited by a large population. The project included the construction of the dam, storage and transport facilities, and agricultural roads, in addition to the installation of hydromechanical equipment as well as irrigation and drainage systems.
A similar project saw the ADFD contribute to financing the Al Wehda Dam project, aimed at collecting water and making it available for drinking and irrigation purposes to address the shortage of water in the area. The 76-metre-high dam has the capacity to store 110 million cubic metres of water and provide 50 million cubic metres of drinking water. The project has helped elevate the living standards of the local population and revitalise the region's economy.
Another project located in the northeastern part of Mali, is the Taoussa Dam, one of the key development projects in the Niger River basin. With the aim to elevate living standards through generating electricity for the surrounding population, the project included the construction of a 25MW hydroelectric power plant.
The dam contributes to the preservation of water resources, and facilitates navigation from Timbuktu to Taoussa through restoring the ecosystem, degraded due to repeated drought, lack of rainfall and desertification. The project also created the conditions for the development of 139,000 hectares of hydroponic systems to bolster food security in the country.
The ADFD helped finance the construction of the dam, an adjoining 130-kilometre road and 220km of power transmission lines, as well as the purchase of the power plant equipment and the implementation of an environmental management system.
The fund also allocated a $90 million concessionary loan for the construction of the Upper Atbara and Setit Dam Complex in eastern Sudan. With a storage capacity of 2.7 billion cubic metres, the twin dams provide the hydroelectric power plant with enough water to generate 320MW of electricity.
Also in Sudan, the ADFD provided Dh735 million for the construction of the Merowe Dam in northern Sudan. One of the largest hydropower projects in Africa and the second major hydropower project in Sudan, the Merowe Dam helps the country address its power deficit through producing 1,250ME of electricity to benefit more than three million people. Located nearly 350km north of the capital Khartoum, the dam is 1.1km wide, nine kilometres long and 60 metres tall. The project included the construction of the power plant to accommodate 10 generators, each with a capacity of 125MW civil and electromechanical works, installation of transmission lines and connection to the national grid.
To ensure an adequate and reliable power supply, the ADFD provided Dh66 million to finance the rehabilitation of the Tarbela Dam in Pakistan. Considered one of the world's largest dams, the Tarbela Dam now produces 1,750MW of hydropower, stimulating Pakistan's economy and driving sustainable development across key strategic sectors.
The ADFD also allocated Dh54 million in concessionary loans to finance the construction of Teesta Dam in Bangladesh. The project involved building the 44km Dinajpur Canal, its secondary and tertiary canals, a bridge over the Bogra Canal, and its regulator and exit outlets, allowing for the irrigation of more than 48,000 hectares of land and benefitting over 68,000 people.
The fund also assisted in bettering Lesotho's economy through the development of the water sector via the Metolong Dam, whic provides 71,000 cubic metres of drinking water per day to the capital Maseru and the neighbouring towns, benefitting almost 500,000 people.
Lastly, the ADFD supported Niger's economy through improving food security, and protecting livestock and the environment from seasonal droughts, and has contributed to the construction of phase one of the Kandadji Dam. In addition to generating electricity, the project seeks to reduce desert encroachment.