E.U. to support water, sanitation sector
The European Union will continue to support Samoa’s water and sanitation sector and assist the country to overcome its challenges.
That was the undertaking recently by Luis De Torres Bonaechea, who is the portfolio head and manager (Samoa) at the European Union Technical Office in Fiji.
Speaking at the 11th Annual Water and Sanitation Sector Performance conference in Apia recently, Luis said the EU has been supporting the water sector in Samoa for a number of years and the sector continues to experience financing problems.
“The EU has been supporting the water sector in Samoa for several years. We are currently implementing a programme under the 11th European Development Fund with an amount of €20 million.
“We are now in the middle of this programme and there are problems that the sector has experienced in financing all the needed infrastructure and needed services,” he said.
But Samoa is not the only country that faces challenges in trying to keep pace with investments, Luis added.
“But of course there are other challenges that the sector faces in providing quality water and sanitation along with flooding that has impacts to infrastructure.
“These situations have an improvement rate, but I think that Samoa Water Authority is doing good work in improving their services to the local citizens but they have financial challenges which we will support them on. We are also very happy with the achievements by the sector.”
Ticking the boxes—in terms of the Samoa National Strategy and harmonising and coordinating with the sector—has also been a success according to the EU technical official.
“Blending has come as another possibility because all the development cooperation cannot support or cover all the financial needs of the water sector in the world in general.
“So blending is another instrument that could facilitate having different partners, international institutions, development partners, other stakeholders to increase the level of investment in facilities in the water sector,” he said.
Blending is the combination of EU grants with loans or equity from public and private financiers. The idea behind blending is that the EU grant element can be used in a strategic way to attract additional financing for important investments in EU partner countries.