The African Development Bank on Tuesday announced a new initiative to promote innovation and citywide inclusive sanitation services for sub-Saharan Africa’s urban inhabitants with an investment of $500m.
A statement issued by the bank said that its Africa Urban Sanitation Investment Fund Programme, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, would fund the initiative designed to focus on the poor.
The Gates Foundation, in partnership with the Government of the People’s Republic of China, showcased the new initiative at the Reinvented Toilet Expo that began in Beijing on Tuesday, the AfDB said.
The Reinvented Toilet Expo brought together private and public sectors leaders pushing for faster adoption of innovative, pro-poor sanitation technologies in the world’s developing regions.
“The potential impact of this new initiative – created to address urban sanitation in a comprehensive way, ensuring that the poor are also sustainably catered for, is long over-due,” said Director of the Bank’s Water Development and Sanitation Department, Wambui Gichuri.
Gichuri added, “Support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation enhances the Fund’s ability to address sanitation in urban areas for greater outcomes, including in health, nutrition, environment, and employment.”
The African Water Facility Urban Sanitation programme (2018-2022) aims to establish the first African Urban Sanitation Investment Fund. The programme builds on the partnership between the Gates Foundation, the African Water Facility and the African Development Bank started in 2011.
The bank said it was committed to raising at least $500m in new city-wide inclusive sanitation investments for the AUSIF from public and private sources alongside African Water Facility.
At least 30 per cent of those resources would finance non-sewered sanitation innovation that directly served low-income communities, it said.
The AfDB said that the partnership enabled the African Water Facility, an initiative of the African Ministers’ Council on Water hosted by the bank, to structure the AUSIF to leverage public and private sector investment.
It would also enable the fund to build a pipeline of projects under a new set of sanitation investment principles called City Wide Inclusive Sanitation, the bank added.