From its inception in 1971 until December 2018, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, has financed 108 water sector projects in 56 countries with a total value of Dhs8 billion.
ABU DHABI: From its inception in 1971 until December 2018, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, has financed 108 water sector projects in 56 countries with a total value of Dhs8 billion.
The Fund’s interest in water and electricity projects reflects its keenness to support international efforts aimed at achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, directly contributing to Goal Six - Clean Water and Sanitation.
According to an ADFD report, issued to mark World Water Day that falls on 22nd March, water sector projects account for 12 per cent of the Fund’s total expenditure. Advancing the development of other key sectors, such as agriculture, irrigation and energy, these projects have positively impacted millions of people through generating about 9,000 megawatts of hydroelectric power in total.
ADFD has funded the construction of 63 dams and the implementation of 30 drinking water and irrigation networks. Having contributed to the development and reclamation of vast areas of agricultural land, its strategic water projects have also helped enhance food security in beneficiary countries.
Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of ADFD, said, «In line with its mission of driving sustainable development and elevating living standards in developing countries, ADFD views vigorous development of the water sector as a top priority. World Water Day presents an ideal opportunity to raise awareness of water-related issues and to renew our commitment to identifying solutions to current and future global water challenges.» «The water sector is a fundamental pillar of development in terms of employment, national income and self-sufficiency of food resources. An adequate supply of water plays an instrumental role in the success of agricultural projects and sustainable power generation,» he added.
On 22nd March, countries across the globe celebrate World Water Day, announced by the UN General Assembly in 1992. With more than 660 million people lacking access to reliable water sources, the international community seeks to adopt efficient water management practices that are sustainable in the long term.
As part of its efforts to support sustainable development in key socio-economic sectors, ADFD has funded multiple vital water projects. Notable projects include the Zanzibar rural water project in Tanzania, which seeks to ensure adequate water supplies, providing, through ADFD financing, a reliable source of drinking water for seven villages on two islands.
Another critical project is the Serat Dam in Tunisia, where the ADFD helped build a valley dam with a storage capacity of 21 million cubic metres of water to irrigate agricultural lands in Ouled Ghanem and Mahjouba areas, enhancing agricultural production within a sizeable geographical area inhabited by a large population. The project included the construction of the dam, storage and transport facilities, and agricultural roads, in addition to the installation of hydromechanical equipment as well as irrigation and drainage systems.
A similar project saw the ADFD contribute to financing the Al-Wehda Dam project, aimed at collecting water and making it available for drinking and irrigation purposes to address the shortage of water in the area. The 76-metre-high dam has the capacity to store 110 million cubic metres of water and provide 50 million cubic metres of drinking water. The project has helped elevate the living standards of the local population and revitalise the region’s economy.
Another project located in the northeastern part of Mali, is the Taoussa Dam, one of the key development projects in the Niger River basin. With the aim to elevate living standards through generating electricity for the surrounding population, the project included the construction of a 25-megawatt hydroelectric power plant.
The dam contributes to the preservation of water resources, and facilitates navigation from Timbuktu to Taoussa through restoring the ecosystem, degraded due to repeated drought, lack of rainfall and desertification. The project also created the conditions for the development of 139,000 hectares of hydroponic systems to bolster food security in the country. ADFD helped finance the construction of the dam, an adjoining 130-kilometre road and 220 kilometres of power transmission lines, as well as the purchase of the power plant equipment and the implementation of an environmental management system. The Fund also allocated a $90 million concessionary loan for the construction of the Upper Atbara and Setit Dam Complex in eastern Sudan. With a storage capacity of 2.7 billion cubic metres, the twin dams provide the hydroelectric power plant with enough water to generate 320 megawatts of electricity.
Also in Sudan, ADFD provided Dhs735 million for the construction of the Merowe Dam in northern Sudan.