French Development Agency loans US$104.78M to Moroccan Water Company

MOROCCO – The French Development Agency (AFD) has agreed to provide MAD1.05 billion (US$104.78 million) loan to Morocco’s RADEEM and RADEETA through two separate agreements.

The two agreements intend to facilitate access to sanitation and drinking water services for more than 1.8 million people living in the autonomous water companies’ utility territories.

These territories include: Radeej (El Jadida), Radeel (Larache), Radeet (Beni Mellal), Radeeta (Taza), and Radem (Meknes).

The AFD’s Mihoub Mezouaghi signed these agreements alongside RADEM’s Mohamed Amerzag, RADEETA’s Moulay El Mehdi Rachid, and France’s ambassador to Morocco Helene Le Gal.

The program includes funds for several types of investment, construction, extension, or rehabilitation.

These concern drinking water production units, pumping stations, water supply, and distribution pipes.

Additionally, they can be used to maintain reservoirs, wastewater, rainwater collectors, and storm drains.

The investments further cover network rehabilitation and optimization, to combat leaks and improve water supply, as well as modernize and digitize the company’s operating systems.

These two agreements are not the only measures that Morocco is making to combat a country-wide drought crisis.

The National Office for Electricity and Drinking Water (ONEE) launched a dam project on March 27, 2022, to secure the supply of drinking water in the Marrakech region.

The project was estimated to cost MAD 2.5 billion (US$268.24 million) and is part of the National Program for the Supply of Drinking water and Irrigation 2020-2027, which has the goal to construct 120 dams by 2024 among other measures.

The country has also opted for desalination plants to help make up the deficit, although they are energy-intensive and pump brine back into the sea which causes its own environmental problems.

The North African country is trying to find additional solutions to solve the country’s need for water after being hit by the worst drought in three decades this year.

The has had little rain since September, and authorities say its reservoirs have received just 11 percent of what they would in an average year.

Currently, Moroccans have access to just 600 cubic meters of water per person per year, far below the 2,600 cubic meters they enjoyed in the 1960s.

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