Algeria has rolled out ambitious plans to make the metropolis of Algiers among world’s largest cities with excellent water management and sanitation systems.
Water Resources Minister Abdelmalek Sellal says the government aims to enhance improved access to sustainable safe drinking water and sanitation to all the city residents. The development is building national and regional momentum towards the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June 2012. “As countdown to Rio conference next year, provision of water, sanitation and hygiene is the surest method break the cycle of poverty and aid development “he says.
Consequently, the government has extended for three years water management and cleansing contract awarded five years ago French company Suez Environnement for another three years. Besides, the country two weeks ago signed a memorandum of cooperation on water resources with Morocco on March 18, 2011 and a joint meeting to discuss water management, purification and seawater desalination was held in Algiers on April 18, 2011.
Meanwhile, several activities are line up as City gears up towards international ISO certification for sanitation, water supply and wastewater utilities in June 2012. The State agency Algerienne des Eaux (AdE) and Office National de l'Assainissement (ONA) gave the French Company another three years to consolidate improvements carried out on the networks and continue training the local workforce. The initial contract involved included upgrade and modernization of water and sanitation networks, aimed particularly at ensuring 24-hour supply.
Suez was the first of four foreign companies to be contracted by the Algerian government to improve fledgling water and wastewater services in the country’s largest cities. The French company was to solve appalling situation of the water and wastewater utility in the Algerian capital, where many residents received water for less than one day a week. It has succeeded in addressing the problems of low pressure and unaccounted-for water and has also established a momentum which is tangibly improving water services in Algiers month by month.
The joint meeting to discuss issues related to water management, purification and seawater desalination will be attended by officials from relevant ministries in Algeria and Morocco. This will the first fruit of a memorandum of cooperation on water resources signed on March 18, 2011 by the Algerian Water Resources Minister and Amina Benkhadra,- Moroccan Minister of Energy, Mines, Water and Environment.
The agreement provides for boosting cooperation between the two countries, mainly in irrigation, hydraulics, dam management, and water transfer and seawater desalination. According to minister Sellal, the country is adopting proactive approach to water management and security in order to securing water supply infrastructures in the face of diverse and evolving threats.