The African Water Facility (AWF) has approved a grant of EUR 1.28 million to finance feasibility studies for a multi-purpose dam on a tributary of River Lusushwana in Swaziland. The project will provide drinking water to urban areas, including Mbabane and Manzini, the two major cities of the country. The water stored by the dam will also be used for irrigation and hydro-power generation. The multipurpose dam project is a priority investment for the Swazi Government. The 300.000 inhabitants in the area will benefit from this investment.
Foreseeable Water shortage. This region, which is a strong driving force for economic growth, handles most of the country's industrial activities. Mohamed El Azizi, AWF Director, describes the context of the initiative as follows: "For 2015, the overall access rate to drinking water supply in Swaziland is 74%, while the sanitation coverage rate is 57%. However, the increase in water demand in the two cities of Mbabane and Manzini and the riparian region, requires the urgent construction of new infrastructure. Given the rapid socio-economic development of the area, water storage and processing facilities will no longer be able to meet the needs of the population of these cities in the coming years." The Nondvo dam project will also have very positive impact in the industrial and agricultural sectors.
Several partners support this project. The cost of the study, estimated at EUR 2.8 million, will be financed to the tune of EUR 1.28 million by the African Water Facility (AWF). The Middle Income Country Technical Assistance Fund (an instrument of the African Development Bank), the Climate Resilient Infrastructure Development Facility (CRIDF), and the Government of Swaziland will participate in the financing to the tune of EUR 1 million, EUR 220 000, and EUR 300 000 respectively. The study is expected to take 24 months. The Nondvo dam project is consistent with the 2014/15-2016/17 National Development Plan and the National Development Strategy (NDS) of the Government of Swaziland.