Delegated funds from the EU will support an AFD credit line that seeks to rehabilitate, reconstruct and expand the water supply and sanitation infrastructure and improve related services in the municipality of Khashuri, in Georgia.
In Khashuri and neighboring settlements, water is available for only a few hours a day. Wastewater is discharged without treatment into a major river, which not only pollutes the environment – it affects the health and livelihoods of locals.
Turning the tide
An EU-funded Grant Financing Agreement worth €7.15 million was signed on March 26. The Grant financing facility will support an AFD credit line of €58 M, for a total allocation of €65 million.
Present at the signing was AFD’s Regional Director for the South Caucasus, Raphaël Jozan, Georgia’s Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure, Irakli Karseladze, and ambassadors from France and the European Union respectively, Diégo Colas and Carl Hartzell.
“Water is a key resource for the development of Georgia, and with climate change, it might become a scarce resource,” said Diégo Colas. “Demand is growing for the production of electricity, for the development of agriculture, and for the improvement of standards of living. Efficient use of water is therefore key.”
The EU-funded grant and the AFD-funded credit line will support the United Water Supply Company of Georgia (UWSCG), the state-owned operator of water and wastewater infrastructure. The project encompasses civil works, procurement of equipment for operation & maintenance, a limited operation phase, and consultancy services. The activities are divided between a Work component and a Technical Assistance component, to support UWSCG in the capacity building, with the objective to spread the new know-how across the whole UWSCG service area.
“As a Team Europe State member, we value the support of the EU Delegation,” said AFD’s Raphaël Jozan. “Water and Sanitation is one of the key sectors of AFD activities in the country. The EU contribution adds to the project’s sustainability. Based on such partnerships, AFD envisages more financing and sharing its expertise to modernize the country’s sanitation strategy.”
A local project with potentially nationwide ramifications
The initiative will have two main impacts. At local level, the EU contribution will improve the water supply and sanitation services. At the national level, the experience gained in the municipality of Khashuri will enhance the utility’s efficiency and sustainability in other locations across the country.
The delegated grant from the EU will also facilitate the general cooperation between EU and Georgia to help the country converge towards EU standards in various areas, including the environment, climate action, public health, and regional development.
“We are very happy to support this key project in the water sector in Khashuri, together with our Team Europe partner AFD,” said EU ambassador Carl Hartzell. “Through the rehabilitation of the water supply system, the project will contribute to improving the quality of life and health for many people here. Thanks to our common investment, waste water will now be better treated and contamination to the surrounding rivers and grounds will be avoided.”
The project is in the implementation stage since 2020 and will be finalized by the year 2026.
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This project is carried out with the support of the European Union.