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European Union to provide funds for desalination plant in Djibouti

21 December 2012

The capital city of Djibouti will see the construction of a desalination water plant powered by renewable energy

The European Union (EU) has announced that it will provide financial support for the construction of a desalination plant in Djibouti, that will use renewable energy to provide water to about one-fourth of the country's population.

The new desalination plant will be constructed as a part of an EU-funded project, Producing Safe Drinking Water with Renewable Energy (PEPER), and will be powered using clean power generated from a wind farm.

The new desalination plant will have a capacity of 22,500m³ per day, which can be expanded to 45,000m³ per day, to address the water crisis in the country.

EU will contribute EUR40.5 ($53.5m) of the total cost of the plant, which is estimated to be EUR46m (60.8m). The remaining fund of EUR5.5m ($7.2m) will be contributed by the government.

Djibouti development commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, said the new plant will increase access to water and bring security and stability in the country.

"The EU supports the UN Sustainable Energy for All initiative, and in the future the plant will be powered by renewable energy," Piebalgs said.

"This is a great example of how with smart aid we can create sustainable development."

In the capital city of Djibouti, where almost 75% of the population resides, demand for water is estimated to be 80,000m³ per day, but currently only 36,000m³ per day is supplied.

Population in the region is expected to double in the next 20 years and immediate solutions are needed to take control of the water demand and supply gap.

Seawater intrusion into the local aquifer, which is the only source of drinkable water in the city, has also affected the water quality in the region.

In addition, the funds will be used to construct a wind farm to power the desalination facility that will help to lower the increase in water tariffs to treat the water.


Image: Djibouti will see the construction of a desalination plant powered by renewable energy. Photo: AlexandreTheGreat.