TUNISIA: Parliament approves $107m from KFAED for drinking water in urban areas

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TUNISIA: Parliament approves $107m from KFAED for drinking water in urban areas©Bannafarsai_Stock/Shutterstock

In Tunisia, the House of People's Representatives (ARP) has approved a loan of 295 million Tunisian dinars (over $107.3 million) from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED). The National Water Supply Company (Sonede) will use the funding to provide drinking water in several cities across the country.

It took more than six months for Tunisia’s House of People’s Representatives (ARP) to approve the loan agreement between the National Water Supply Company (Sonede) and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) on December 29th, 2020. The financing of 295 million Tunisian dinars (more than $107.3 million) represents the fourth tranche of an overall amount of $500 million pledged by the State of Kuwait during the international investment conference “Tunisia 2020”. The Tunisian state has 30 years to repay the 295 million Tunisian dinars loan, with a six-year margin and an interest rate of 2.5%.

With this financing, Sonede will improve and develop the drinking water transfer networks in 35 urban areas, spread over 17 governorates, namely Ben Arous, Béjà, Jendouba, Siliana, le Kef, Nabeul, Bizerte, Zaghouan, Kasserine, Gabès, Médenine, Tataouine, Sfax, Gafsa, Tozeur, Kébili and Sidi Bouzid. In concrete terms, the public company will replace the pipes in the targeted towns. Sonede will also carry out 15 boreholes. The water pumped from the water table will be stored in 42 tanks. The company also plans to build a water purification plant in the coastal town of Tabarka, in north-west Tunisia, as well as a water deferrization plant in the town of Zarzis.

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Sonede has given itself five years to complete all the work, which should improve the drinking water supply to the populations of the towns concerned. In Tunisia, the need for drinking water is constantly increasing, by 3% each year, due to the very high demographic growth of the population. Between 2014 and 2021, Tunisia will have grown from 11.14 million to 12.02 million inhabitants.

Inès Magoum

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