Rabat – Morocco’s National Office for Electricity and Drinking Water (ONEE) announced on Wednesday the signing of a loan contract with the German Development Bank (KfW). The agreement seeks to improve access to drinking water in rural northern Morocco.
ONEE’s General Director Abderrahim El Hafidi signed the €30 million partnership with the director of KfW’s office in Morocco, Markus Faschina.
The funds will contribute to the supply of drinking water in the provinces of Tangier, Chefchaouen, and surrounding areas in northwest Morocco.
The program will benefit 150 areas with a population of nearly 112,000 inhabitants.
The initiative is part of Morocco’s program to reduce territorial and social disparities (PRDTS).
PRDTS (2017-2023) is a Moroccan program that seeks to supply 24,000 areas across Morocco with drinking water supply, electrification, schools, dispensaries, and other basic services and facilities.
Morocco’s government has repeatedly acknowledged the urgent need for water development projects, especially as the country’s dams suffered low fill rates last year due to lack of rainfall.
Minister of Transport Abdelkader Amara said in mid-July that the country’s dams have an average filling rate of 45%, down from 2019’s national average of 54%.
A recent report from the World Resources Institute (WRS) ranked Morocco among the countries threatened with facing high baseline water stress.
The report positioned Morocco 22nd in the overall ranking and 12th within Arab countries.
This is not the first time the country has received funding support to improve access to drinking water in northern Morocco.
The French Development Agency (AFD) and ONEE signed two loan agreements in July 2019 for €49 million and €92 million. They aim to ensure access to safe drinking water in the provinces of Al Hoceima, Driouch, Nador, and Taounate near Fez.