NAIROBI, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- African Development Bank (AfDB) said Thursday it has approved a 7.34-billion-shilling (71.5 million U.S. dollars) loan to improve access to sustainable wastewater services in Kenya's capital city Nairobi.
The lender said the project, co-financed by the French Development Agency (AFD) with additional 22.7 million dollars, targets prioritized sanitation investments in Nairobi City to improve health and living conditions.
"The objective of the project is to improve access, quality, availability and sustainability of wastewater services in Nairobi city to help restore the Nairobi River Basin," AfDB said in a statement.
According to the Bank, an estimated 500,000 people are expected to benefit from the project through rehabilitation and construction of wastewater treatment facilities at Dandora, construction of 220km sewer reticulation network including faecal sludge management infrastructure, as well as construction and rehabilitation of 100 toilet facilities in Nairobi's informal settlements.
Wambui Gichuri, Director of Water and Sanitation said delayed and inadequate investments in wastewater management have resulted in poor wastewater services in Nairobi which is home to an estimated 4.4 million people, representing about 9 percent of the country's total population of 48.5 million.
"This project will deliver safe, adequate and reliable sanitation services, reducing health risks and economic burdens," she added.
According to AfDB, Kenya each year loses an estimated one percent of GDP due to poor sanitation since urban services have not kept pace with rapid expansion, with the existing sewerage infrastructure serving only 48 percent of the city.
The project will also support Athi Water Services Board and Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company to offer improved sanitation services through institutional strengthening.