The board of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a US$35.5-million loan to support implementation of a project to improve Malawi’s rural water and sanitation infrastructure.According to a statement by the bank, its African Development Fund would make a loan of US$23 million available to Malawi while the Nigerian Trust Fund and the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Facility Project would provide a loan of US$7.7 million and a grant of US$4.8 million, respectively.

The bank said the project was in line with the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy, the AfDB’s Country Strategy Paper for Malawi as well as its 10-Year Strategy focusing on African transformation through inclusive and green growth.

“The project focuses on rural water supply and sanitation in five districts and will be implemented through the Ministry of Water Development and Irrigation in collaboration with the respective district councils,” it said.

It said the project addresses increased access to clean and sustainable water supply, increased access to improved and inclusive sanitation, improved resilience of water resources; and sustainable community management of water supply and sanitation facilities among others.

This is the second major intervention by the AfDB in Malawi’s water supply and sanitation sector in the last five years.

In 2009, the bank provided US$48.3 million to finance the National Water Development Project, covering mainly underserved rural communities, which was successfully completed in 2013.

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