In its booklet "Water, a promise of emancipation", the French Development Agency (AFD) discusses gender inequalities in access to water resources in Tunisia. The problem, which mainly concerns rural areas, is becoming an old memory, thanks to the many projects that the financial institution is supporting in this North African country with a view to sustainable development.
“The difficult access to clean water in rural areas illustrates perfectly the link with gender inequalities. This is one of the findings of the French Development Agency (AFD) in Tunisia. In its book entitled “Water, the promise of emancipation”, AFD denounces the harassment and sexual aggression that some Tunisian women face on the way to the standpipes.
As a main solution, the financial institution proposes facilitating access to water facilities in secure locations. In this sense, the French group claims to have invested around 260 million euros to date in the water and sanitation sector in Tunisia for the benefit of some 465 000 people. According to AFD, this financing has notably enabled the implementation of four successive programs that have contributed to raising the rate of drinking water supply in rural areas from 75% in 1998 to 94.5% in 2022.
The government is multiplying its efforts
Access to water and sanitation services, as well as gender equality, are respectively the 5th and 6th Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. In terms of water, the Tunisian authorities have been working in recent years to improve water supply in both urban and rural areas. In this context, in 2020, the National Company for the Exploitation and Distribution of Water (SONEDE) drilled wells in the governorate of Kasserine, in western Tunisia. These wells operate with two pumping stations, capable of supplying 2,160 m3 of water per day to 2,500 families in the localities of El Kamour, Makroun, Bir Hamouda, Touafia and Ytima.
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The populations of the governorate of La Manouba will benefit from new drinking water supply facilities as part of a programme initiated by the Regional Commissariat for Agricultural Development (CRDA). The initiative will allow the connection of 350 households to the Sonede network in the towns of El Mahfoura and El Batan and will subsequently provide drinking water to 30 households and a primary school in Ain Targlach in the town of Tebourba. The project will be implemented from September 2022 thanks to a loan of 1.830 million Tunisian dinars (568,000 euros) from the African Development Bank (AfDB).