THOUSANDS of people living in the Rwandan capital Kigali will benefit from the country’s first wastewater treatment plant and public sewerage network supported by the largest ever European Investment Bank loan in the country.
The European Union has confirmed a new EUR 45 million loan to finance transformational improvement of sanitation infrastructure in the city. The 25-year European Investment Bank loan will finance the EUR 96 million sewage and wastewater project alongside the government and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The new loan was formally signed in Kigali by Claver Gatete, Rwanda’s Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, and Maria Shaw-Barragan, Director of the European Investment Bank, responsible for lending operations outside Europe.
‘Kigali is one of the fastest growing cities in Africa and investment in water and sanitation is crucial to improve health and reduce pollution. The government of Rwanda welcomes the backing for the European Investment Bank and other international partners for the Kigali Centralised Sewerage project. The EIB has played a key role supporting the technical, economic and environmental studies essential for the successful design of this scheme. Today I am pleased to sign the EUR 48 million loan agreement with the EIB that will support construction of the first public sewerage network in our capital city,’ said Claver Gatete.
‘Visionary new investment to transform wastewater here in Kigali will benefit Rwanda and Rwandans for the years ahead. Construction of Kigali’s first wastewater network and treatment plant will improve health, reduce pollution and carbon emissions, as well as make Kigali an even better place to live and work. The European Investment Bank recognises the crucial importance of this project for Rwanda’s capital and we are pleased to provide our largest ever loan in Rwanda to support the scheme. By ensuring that the project can cater for growing demand and a growing city this scheme sets a benchmark that other world cities are already following closely.’ said Maria Shaw-Barragan, Director of the European Investment Bank.
The EIB’s support for wastewater investment in Kigali represents the largest ever financing by the European Investment Bank in Rwanda in 40 years of operations in the country and the first support for public sector investment since 2000.
Once operational the first sewage network and wastewater treatment plant in Kigali will significantly improve public health through a reduction of waterborne diseases and reduce pollution in the Nyabarongo and Akagera rivers and Lake Victoria. Improving wastewater infrastructure in the city will also enhance attractiveness of the city for companies.
Detailed technical and feasibility studies carried out by the EIB over the last three years will ensure that the scheme can be strengthened in the future. The wastewater treatment plant will be able to be expanded to cater for additional demand and the new sewage network planned to minimise disruption of existing road and urban infrastructure by future expansion.