Somalia has secured about 29 million U.S. dollars from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for water and sanitation and roads projects designed to improve livelihoods and boost the country’s resilience.
AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina said the grants would help improve quality of life, inclusiveness and engender resilience in the communities, especially in Kismayo and Baidoa, where an estimated 65 percent of the population live below the poverty line and 70 percent is younger than 30 years and unemployed.
“We should look at the whole issue of fragility and transition states in a more comprehensive way. We need to do a lot more engagement; we need to work aggressively to help these countries,” Adesina said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
“The Kismayo-Baidoa water supply and sanitation project will boost access to potable water, improved sanitation and strengthen capacity for related delivery services in Jubbaland and South West states of Somalia,” AfDB said.
It said the road infrastructure project is expected to enhance connectivity through rehabilitation of some 247 km of roads, in addition to the construction of a new 100 km feeder road.
Nnenna Nwabufo, AfDB deputy regional director-general for East Africa, said the water and sanitation project will propel Somalia towards Sustainable Development Goals on universal access to water and sanitation.
Nwabufo said the project will benefit around 200,000 urban and peri-urban people living in Kismayo and Baidoa, which are experiencing a high influx of internally displaced persons, resulting in high youth unemployment, leading to increased fragility.
“Somalia is showing promising signs of increased stabilization through formation of recognized state institutions, fostering a country-owned and led approach to transition from fragility,” she said.