EAIF backs US $60m water treatment plant in Rwanda

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The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) has announced the financing for a large-scale water treatment plant in Rwanda. The water treatment plant is the first Bulk Surface Water Supply in sub-Saharan Africa using a public/private partnership (PPP) model.

It is also one of the few sub-Saharan Africa water infrastructure projects on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis. EAIF is lending Kigali Water Limited (KWL), a fully owned subsidiary of Metito US $19m of senio and US $2.6m of junior debt respectively.

The African Development Bank is providing another US $19m of senior debt. All of the loans are for 18 year terms. The lenders will cover US $40.6m of the capital cost of the US $60.8m project. The IFC advised Rwanda’s government on this work. It ensured an optimal solution for the long-term needs of Kigali and recommendations for a public/private partnership structure that best suited the development objectives of the Rwandan government.

Improved clean water access

Rwanda aims to see 100% of its 12.4m people having reliable access to clean water within the next few years. Currently, some 86% of urban areas and 72% of rural areas have access to improved sources of drinking water.

The site for the new facility is at Kanzenze, south of Kigali. Water will be drawn from the Nyaborongo River to be treated before distribution to domestic, commercial and industrial customers. The plant will have the capacity to supply up to 500,000 people in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali. It will also provide 40m litres of fresh, clean water a day. When complete, the facility will provide around one third of Kigali’s water.

In addition to the public health and economic development benefits of the project for Kigali’s one million population, it will also mean a significant reduction in water rationing in the city.