DAR ES SALAAM, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- At least 165 Tanzanian rural villages in nine regions will have access to sustainable water supply through improved solar pumping systems financed by a World Bank grant, the bank said in a statement on Tuesday.
The statement said the project will be implemented through a new grant agreement signed between the government of Tanzania and the World Bank amounting to 4.5 million U.S. dollars from the Global Partnership for Results-Based Approaches (GPRBA).
GPRBA is a global partnership program in the World Bank Group that provides innovative financing solutions that link funding to actual results achieved.
The World Bank's long-term engagement in the water sector will now include a large pilot on "Solar Water Pumping via Innovative Financing" which will support Tanzania in moving from outdated and inefficient diesel-powered pumps with clean and climate-friendly solar pumping systems, said the statement issued in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
"These new systems will help decarbonize off-grid water pumping in rural Tanzania and significantly reduce the cost of water extraction for at least 500,000 beneficiaries," said the statement.
"The project opens up new resources of available funding to help close the vast investment gap for rural water supply in Tanzania and shift the focus to mobilizing private sector financing consistent with the World Bank's Maximizing Finance for Development (MFD) approach," the statement quoted Zaruhi Tokhmakhian, GPRBA acting head.
According to the statement, this is the first attempt to leverage private sector financing in Tanzania's rural water supply sector.
"The introduction of solar water pumping systems is expected to significantly reduce operation and maintenance costs for the community-based water supply organizations, providing them with financial resources to lower the price of water to users and expand service to presently unserved communities," said Kitila Mkumbo, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Water.
To address the growing concern of the delivery of safer water for consumption, this project will also install simple chlorinators to improve the water quality delivered to communities, said Mkumbo.
"With this project, we are seeking to introduce new technologies at scale to better facilitate private sector financing and sustainable rural water supply," said Bella Bird, World Bank Country Director for Tanzania.
She added: "It is our hope that the combination of solar water pumps, pre-paid meters, chlorination, remote sensors and 5-year service agreements will form the synergies which will shape a new era for the sector."