MOROCCO – Morocco’s National Office for Electricity and Drinking Water (ONEE) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have signed a new agreement worth €37.5 million (US$48.9m).
The foreign investment aims to rehabilitate and improve Morocco’s drinking water supply production sites along with distribution infrastructures across the kingdom.
The planned investments will ensure the reliability of the drinking water supply and improve the living conditions of the population, mainly in rural areas.
It will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing water losses in the country’s distribution networks, while strengthening the Kingdom’s resilience in the face of the growing water scarcity, already exacerbated by climate change.
“We are proud to consolidate our 30-year partnership with ONEE, whose mission is central to meeting the environmental issues and challenges Morocco is facing in terms of the use of water resources.
“As a Climate Bank, it is our responsibility to thus contribute to the fight against climate change and to reduce territorial inequalities with sustainable investments,” declared Mrs Anna Barone, representative of the EIB in Morocco.
This EIB financing is part of the European Union (EU) external lending mandate and is part of the Team Europe program’s response to the health crisis.
The total loan amount exceptionally covers 90% of the total cost of the project, in principle limited to 50% by the Bank’s statutes.
“As a Climate Bank, it is our responsibility to thus contribute to the fight against climate change and to reduce territorial inequalities with sustainable investments.”Mrs Anna Barone, – Representative of the EIB in Morocco
In 2020, the EIB invested €617 million (US$738m) in Morocco’s water infrastructure. This figure surpassed the investments of 2019 which amounted to approximately €401.5 million (US$480.5m).
In a bid to further tackle the water scarcity situation, Morocco is building Africa’s largest water treatment plant at a cost of MAD 10 billion (US$1 billion).
The project which will be built in the country’s capital Casablanca will have a capacity of 300 million cubic meters.
The seawater desalination project comes in the context of significant deficits of Morocco’s water reservoirs which has limited access to portable water and for undertaking farming.
Despite the many improvements Morocco has made to its public drinking water infrastructure, the World Resource Institute ranked Morocco 22nd in the world for countries threatened to face high baseline water stress.
The North Africa country has focused extensively on the climate issues that threaten its ability to provide drinking water and continues to implement new climate change projects like the Green Morocco Plan which seek to promote a culture of sustainable development and improve the management and development of natural resources and strengthen biodiversity conservation by 2030.
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