The state-owned Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) has signed an agreement with the Tanzanian government to support a major drinking water supply project in the East African country, according to Arab News.

“The project in the Mara region of Tanzania will be executed partly with the SR 56.25 million loan facility to be provided by the SFD,” said an SFD statement yesterday.

The loan will “assist the drinking water project and provide potable water” to three towns and villages in Tanzania, a country affected by a long-standing water crisis, said the statement. The agreement was signed by SFD Vice President Yousef I. Al-Bassam and Tanzanian Finance Minister William Mgimoa recently.

The water project in Tanzania has been designed to improve potable water services for both rural and urban communities by developing an integrated water network to supply water from Lake Victoria to the targeted areas in the Mara region. The project also aims to improve health, lower the chances of water-borne diseases and reduce poverty in the region.

The SFD provides loans without conditions. Funds are provided on easy repayment terms of up to 50 years with a 10-year grace period. The outright grant component of such loans can amount to 60 percent of the total.

In January, Tanzania started the water project in the Musoma municipality of Mara at a cost of SR 96 million to provide safe and clean drinking water to residents in that area.

The project is also being funded by the French Development Agency. The project is in line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) set by the United Nations for water supply.

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