AFRICA: Drought-stricken four countries get $30 million from Copenhagen for water

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AFRICA: Drought-stricken 4 countries get $30m from Copenhagen for water© Photographer RM/Shutterstock

The government of Denmark has approved a $30.1 million grant to the African Water Facility (AWF), managed by the African Development Bank (AfDB). The grant will benefit four African countries particularly affected by drought.

Water is an essential service, especially in arid and semi-arid areas where droughts are common. The $30.1 million grant recently awarded by Denmark aims to support the adaptation of some African countries’ water supply to this phenomenon, which is exacerbated by climate change. The funding is allocated to the African Water Facility (AWF).

Initiated by the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) and managed by the African Development Bank (AfDB), this facility finances and provides technical assistance to implement “innovative” water projects and attract investment to support resource management projects in Africa. The Danish government’s funding comes just months after the signing of an $8.8 million grant agreement between the Nordic Development Fund (NDF), also funded by Denmark, and AWF.

Intervention in rural areas

The grants are part of a special program called “Improving Access to Climate Resilient Water Supply and Sanitation Services in the Sahel and Horn of Africa. The grant recently approved by the Danish government is intended for Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Somalia.

Read also- AFRICA: Water to be the focus of AfDB’s strategy for the next 4 years

In these countries in the Sahel and Horn of Africa, AWF will rehabilitate, expand, and climate-proof water supply systems, sanitation facilities, and handwashing facilities. The facility will target rural areas where drinking water and sanitation infrastructure is less developed.

Building on an existing partnership

According to the AfDB, the program is expected to support recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic in the four countries involved, in part by mobilizing new investments in climate-resilient water and sanitation infrastructure. “Regular handwashing with soap and water is an essential first line of defense against the virus. Unfortunately, even today, millions of people around the world lack access to clean water and handwashing facilities,” says Tobias von Platen-Hallermund, Senior Advisor at the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Danish grant will help strengthen AWF’s activities in Africa. The facility recently partnered with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency ( to fund the development of the Freetown Water Supply and Sanitation Master Plan in Sierra Leone, as well as investment study projects. This initiative aims to prepare short- and medium-term investment projects as part of the implementation of the Greater Freetown Water Supply and Sanitation System.

Jean Marie Takouleu


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