By Abdul Rahman Suagibu –
NEW AFRICA DAILY NEWS, Freetown, Sierra Leone- Not far from 165, Tanzania villages shall benefit from sustainable water supply through improved solar pumping systems; from the World Bank’s 4.5 million dollars grant.
Government of Tanzania and the Bretton Woods Institution have signed the deal of 4.5 million dollars from the Global Partnership for Results –Based Approaches (GPRBA). The World Bank’s long term engagement in the water sector will now incorporate large pilot on “Solar water pumping through innovative financing”, which will support Tanzania in moving from the old fashioned and incapable diesel – powered pumps to clean and climate –friendly solar pumping systems.
The new systems will help to decarbonizes off-grid water pumping in rural Tanzania and significantly reduce the cost of water extraction for at least 500,000 beneficiaries.
Prof. Kitila Mkumbo – Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Water said that, the systems will reduce maintenance costs of the Community Based Water Supply Organizations (CBWSOs).
“The introduction of solar water pumping systems is expected to significantly reduce operation and maintenance costs for CBWSOs, providing them with financial resources to lower water prices to users and expand services to other communities”, the Prof. noted.
Acting Head – GPRBA Zaruhi Tokhmakhian said that, the project is open up to new resources of available funding.
“The project opens up new resources of available funding to help close the vast investment gap for rural water supply in Tanzania and shift the focus to mobilize the private sector financing consistent with the World Bank’s Maximizing Finance for Development approach”, she said.
From the World Bank, the project is the first to leverage private sector financing in Tanzania’s rural water supply sector.
“With this project we are seeking to introduce new technologies at scale to better facilitate private sector financing and sustainable rural water supply.
It is our hope that, the combination of solar water pumps, pre-paid meters, chlorination, remote sensors and five year service agreements will form the synergies, which will shape a new era for the sector”, said World Bank Country Director – Bella Bird.
In addendum, GPRBA’s granted and diversify funding sources; the project uses a blended finance approach, combining debt finance and output-based subsidies. GPRBA funds will facilitate 60% subsidy against loans for CBWSOs to replace their diesel generators with solar-powered pumping systems.
“The debt finance will account for 40% of the investment and the CBWSOs will repay the loan over a four year period with additional money made available by eliminating the use of diesel fuel”, the bank said in the statement.
Additionally, an innovative mobile – banking payment platform will be pilot to manage revenue collection from water sales and loan repayments by participating CBWSOOs directly to the participating local banks.
The funding also includes technical support component for training CBWSOs to perform efficiently and encourage their practices of loan repayment to increase credit worthiness and ability to borrow in future.
For New Africa Daily News Abdul Rahman Suagibu Reports, Africa Correspondent