16/10/17

Fiji to Welcome New Water Supply and Wastewater Management Project under First-Ever ADB-GCF Funding Initiative

The Fijian Government has partnered with the Asian Development Bank (“ADB”) and the Green Climate Fund (“GCF”) to fund an Urban Water Supply and Wastewater Management Investment Program to benefit more than 300,000 Fijians living in the Greater Suva Area. The project is expected to be completed in July 2025 and represents a total investment of  US $405 million.

The new water supply and wastewater management project is the first project funded under the Accreditation Master Agreement signed between the ADB and GCF in July 2017. The agreement allows the ADB to access and administer GCF funding for climate mitigation and adaptation projects in the ADB’s developing member countries.

Today, on the margins of the Pre-COP Partnership Event in Nadi, the Fijian Government and the ADB signed a Funded Activity Agreement to release a GCF grant of $31 million, which will be funnelled through the ADB. The Fijian Government also signed a loan agreement with the ADB for an $42 million loan to fund the first phase of the Program.

Once completed, the project will improve access to a safe, piped water supply system and environmentally friendly sewage systems and is part of the Fijian Government’s larger effort to expand access to clean drinking water and wastewater systems, as mandated by the Fijian Constitution.

The project will cover the general maintenance and upgrades of water supply infrastructure and the construction of a new water supply intake on the Rewa River, with an associated water treatment plant, pumping station, reservoir and transmission main to connect to the existing Greater Suva Area water supply system. The project will also improve wastewater management in urban areas and engage expert consultants to complete engineering designs, ensure high levels of compliance and assist with procurement.

The European Investment Bank has also agreed to co-finance the project in partnership with the ADB.

Prime Minister and Incoming COP President Frank Bainimarama said that the delivery of basic services had always been a cornerstone of his Government’s reforms in Fiji, and that the program was a perfect example of that commitment.

“As the incoming President of COP23, one of my top objectives is to create better access to finance for projects like this, not only for Fiji, but for other vulnerable countries in the region and around the world. I would not only like to thank the ADB and the GCF for their technical and financial support, but also for their leadership and forward thinking on climate finance more broadly. I encourage more lending institutions to follow their example and to join us in our grand coalition to build a more resilient, carbon-neutral world,” said the Prime Minister.

The Attorney-General and Minister responsible for climate change, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, welcomed the new program as a big step forward for climate adaptation work in Fiji and a sign of confidence in Fiji’s ability to manage serious infrastructure development.

“Climate change brings serious risks for the Fijian people in accessing clean drinking water and sanitation services, and we urgently need to boost the resilience of our water supply and wastewater infrastructure to withstand severe weather events. This investment project is one of the largest in Fijian history and will provide infrastructure we can rely on to deliver these essential services to the Fijian people. The GCF and the ADB have chosen Fiji for their first blended funding initiative, not only because we are on the frontlines of climate change, but because we have shown that we are capable of managing large-scale infrastructure development and channelling climate finance directly into projects that benefit our people,” said the Attorney-General.

At the signing ceremony, the project entity, the Water Authority of Fiji, also signed a project agreement with the ADB.