HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS (26 September 2019) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $28 million loan and a $9 million grant for the Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Project, which will provide better access to safe water and improve sanitation in urban areas of Solomon Islands.

The project will adopt a sector approach for developing sustainable, inclusive, and climate resilient water supply and improved sanitation in the greater Honiara area and five other towns, namely Auki, Gizo, Noro, Munda, and Tulagi.

Following the government’s Water and Sanitation Sector Plan, the project will increase people’s access to piped water supply and sanitation services, especially among poor households; reduce reliance on well water and rainwater harvest; and ensure more efficient water usage.

Apart from ADB, the European Union (EU) with a $20.35 million grant, the World Bank with a $15 million loan, the Government of Solomon Islands with $11.47 million, and the Solomon Water with $9 million will contribute financing to the $92.82 million project, which will enhance hygiene awareness, promote water conservation, and improve fecal sludge management in the country’s urban areas.

“The project and ADB’s engagement in the water and sanitation sector brings extensive Pacific experience in water and sanitation infrastructure investment and provides best practices for water utility institutional strengthening,” said ADB Principal Urban Development Specialist for the Pacific Mr. Stephen Blaik. “The project will also help the government and Solomon Water address project environmental and social safeguard issues.”

"The EU is committed to increase its effort to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, while making cities inclusive, resilient, and sustainable. This multi-stakeholder project aligns the support of the EU to the priorities of Solomon Islands and reinforces the coordination with other development partners to support the country in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” said the Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation for the Pacific Mr. Christoph Wagner.

“Quality water and sanitation are vital to the health of Solomon Islanders, yet at present only 55% of urban households in Solomon Islands have access to piped water supply services and 76% to basic sanitation,” said the World Bank Country Representative for Solomon Islands and Vanuatu Mr. Guido Rurangwa. “We are delighted to be partnering with the Asian Development Bank and the European Union to address this urgent need.”

“We are immensely grateful to ADB for the confidence they have in the Board and Management of Solomon Water to extend the financial assistance,” said Solomon Water Chairman Mr. Carson Korowa. “The generous assistance will help Solomon Water to accomplish its goal of providing clean, reliable, and affordable piped water to the people of Solomon Islands, not only in Honiara but in the provinces as well.”

ADB’s $28 million concessional loan will be sourced from ADB’s ordinary capital resources. The $9 million grant will be provided from ADB’s Special Funds resources. ADB will also administer the $20.35 million EU grant. The Ministry of Finance and Treasury will be the executing agency and Solomon Water will be the implementing agency for the project.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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