Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a loan of $28M and a grant of $9M for the Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Project in the Solomon Islands.

The project will provide increased access to safe water and improve sanitation in the urban areas of the Solomon Islands, greater Honiara area and five other towns, namely Auki, Gizo, Noro, Munda, and Tulagi.

Furthermore, the European Union (EU) with a $20.35m grant, the World Bank with a $15m loan, the Government of the Solomon Islands with $11.47m and the Solomon Water with $9m will contribute to the funding for the $92.82m project.

The government’s Water and Sanitation Sector Plan will enhance water conservation, provide better access to piped water supply and sanitation services, ensure more efficient water usage and improve faecal sludge management in the country’s urban areas.

ADB principal urban development specialist for the Pacific Stephen Blaik said: “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. The project will also help the government and Solomon Water address project environmental and social safeguard issues.”

EU Delegation for the Pacific head of cooperation Christoph Wagner said: “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 the Solomon Islands and reinforces the coordination with other development partners to support the country in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.”

ADB’s ordinary capital resources will contribute to ADB’s $28m concessional loans and ADB’s Special Funds resources will contribute to the $9m grant.

European Union’s $20.35m will be administered by ADB.

Solomon Water chairman Carson Korowa said: “We are immensely grateful to ADB for the confidence they have in the Board and Management of Solomon Water to extend the financial assistance. 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.”