African Development Bank (AfDB) has granted $29 million to Somali for water and sanitation as well as roads projects designed to improve livelihoods and boost the country’s resilience.
The President Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB, said the grants would help improve quality of life, inclusiveness and engender resilience in the communities, especially in Kismayo and Baidoa areas.
Adesina said in Kismayo and Baidoa areas 65 per cent of the population live below the poverty line and 70 per cent were younger than 30 years and unemployed.
“We should look at the whole issue of fragility and transition states in a more comprehensive way.
“We need to do a lot more engagement; we need to work aggressively to help these countries,” Adesina said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
“The Kismayo-Baidoa water supply and sanitation project will boost access to potable water, improved sanitation and strengthen capacity for related delivery services in Jubbaland and South West states of Somalia,” AfDB said.
It said the road infrastructure project was expected to enhance connectivity through rehabilitation of some 247 km of roads, in addition to the construction of a new 100 km feeder road.
Nnenna Nwabufo, AfDB Deputy Regional Director-General for East Africa, said the water and sanitation project would propel Somalia towards Sustainable Development Goals on universal access to water and sanitation.
Nwabufo said the project would benefit around 200,000 urban and peri-urban people living in Kismayo and Baidoa, which are experiencing a high influx of internally displaced persons, resulting in high youth unemployment, leading to increased fragility.“Somalia is showing promising signs of increased stabilisation through formation of recognised state institutions, fostering a country-owned and led approach to transition from fragility,” she said.