Urban Water Sector Reform Project

Background: Urban Water Sector Reform Project

Rivers State Government and the Port-Harcourt Water Corporation (PHWC) are implementing a project to provide water and sanitation services for the population of Port-Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Authorities (LGAs). The project is part of a wide sector institutional reform embarked on by the Rivers State Government, and is planned to be implemented with parallel financing support by the African Development Bank (AfDB) under the Urban Water Reform and Port-Harcourt Water Supply and Sanitation Project, and by the International Development Association (IDA), hereafter also referred to as World Bank (WB), under the Third National Urban Water Sector Reform Project (NUWSRP3). The planned allocations to Rivers State include USD 200 million in AfDB funds and USD 80 million in IDA funds. AfDB and IDA are hereafter also referred to as Donor, or collectively as Donors. The Rivers State Government co-financing amounts to USD 48 million.

The current population in the two LGAs is about 1.3 million, rapidly increasing, and expected to reach 4 million by 2040. Currently, its citizens do not benefit from any water services of acceptable quantity, quality or reliability standards, as the water system is considered to be largely non-functional. As a result, the population obtains water from a combination of private boreholes/shallow wells (directly in their household or bought through intermediate vendors) and water sachets, with varying quality, costs and availability.

For sanitation, most households in Port-Harcourt and Obio/ Akpor are served by toilets with on- site septic tanks or household pit latrines, while most public centres such as markets and lorry parks lack adequate facilities.

The project aims to improve access to safe water supply and public, sanitation services in Port- Harcourt and Obio/ Apkor and also to establish sound performance and long-term viability of the Port-Harcourt Water Corporation to ensure sustainability of services provided. To this effect, the project is structured around four components: (i) Rehabilitation and expansion of the existing water, infrastructure and construction of public sanitation facilities. (ii) Institutional Support covering capacity building of the recently established Port-Harcourt Water Corporation, consumer outreach, environmental protection, and longer-term planning for comprehensive sanitation services; (iii) Establishment of Public Private Partnerships for sustainable service operations; and (iv) Project Management. The population in the project area is primarily low income households,’ which requires special considerations in delivery mechanisms and tariff setting for affordability and sustainability. A detailed Design Review study including a revision of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESlA), and associated Environmental and . Social Management Plan (ESMP) and Resettlement Action Plan (RAP), is on-going.

A Project Implementation Unit (PlU) will be established within the Executing Agency, the Port- Harcourt Water Corporation, to ensure the joint and coordinated implementation of the various. project components or sub-projects, whether financed by AfDB or WB. The PIU will include the following skills: Project Management, Water Supply and Sanitation Engineering, Procurement, Financial Management, Planning Engineers, Environmental & Social Safeguard Officer, Monitoring & Evaluation Officer.

Appreciate water before you are thirsty! Appreciate all the good things before you need them!
– Mehmet Murat ildan