The Initiative was conceptualized by UN-HABITAT as a programme to fast track the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals for water and sanitation in small urban centers. Following the success of the first phase, which is now nearing completion in 10 towns, the Initiative has been endorsed by major stakeholders as a model for improving water and environmental sanitation in secondary towns through an integrated package of investments, comprising physical infrastructure works, institutional development, training and capacity building. The project has clearly demonstrated its potential to extend water and sanitation services, enhance environmental sustainability and reduce poverty in ecologically sensitive regions.
Bert Diphoorn, signing the agreement on behalf of UN-HABITAT
The signing of the Agreement in Arusha marks the successful completion of a Project Formulation Study for a second phase of the Initiative and the conclusion of a project appraisal mission to the region from the AfDB. Under the terms of the agreement, the second phase of the Initiative will extend water, sanitation and solid waste management services to over 850,000 persons living in 15 secondary towns, three in each of the five East African Community Countries.
With an estimated investment of US$100 million, the project will be financed jointly through a grant from the African Development Bank, to meet 80% of the project cost, with the remaining 20% to be financed from counterpart contributions from the participating countries. The AfDB grant is slated for approval in October, 2010.
The agreement for the scaling up of the Initiative has established a key role for UN-HABITAT as the Implementing Agency for the technical assistance and capacity building component of the project. UN-HABITAT will be responsible for ensuring the effective implementation and sustainability of the project by providing technical assistance and capacity building to the EAC and the participating countries, in five major focus areas including, project management and community participation, capacity building for service providers, urban planning, sanitation and hygiene promotion and urban catchment management. Implementation of the project is expected to commence in March, 2011.