Launch of the Nedamco Africa Catchment-City-Waste (CCW) Water Management Project in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia

Launch of the Nedamco Africa Catchment-City-Waste (CCW) Water Management Project in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia

Ethiopia – 5 June, 2024 – The Nedamco Africa Catchment-City-Waste (CCW) project has officially launched in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia, marking a significant milestone in sustainable water management.

Endorsed by both the Ethiopian and the Dutch government, this initiative aims to develop smarter water distribution systems, reduce water losses, and attract private investment, aligning with the UN23 Water Action Agenda and SDG6. The project establishes significant improvements in water quality, access, and availability for Dire Dawa residents, leveraging advanced Microsoft technologies and innovative financing models to ensure long-term sustainability and enhanced quality of life.

Today marks a significant milestone with the official launch by of the Nedamco Africa Waste (CCW) project in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia.

Endorsed by the governments of Ethiopia (reresented by H.E. Dr. Eng. Habtamu Itefa Geleta, Minister for the Ministry of Water and Energy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia) and the Kingdom of the Netherlands (represented by H.E. Mr. Henk Jan Bakker, Dutch Ambassador to the African Union), this initiative underscores their commitment to sustainable water management through AI/ML technologies, innovation and collaboration.

The project aims to create smarter water distribution systems, reduce losses, and attract private investment, aligning with the UN23 Water Action Agenda and accelerating progress towards SDG6. It promises significant enhancements in water quality, access, and availability for the 1 million residents of the Dire Dawa region.

The launch of the Nedamco Africa CCW project is a testament to the urgent need for new technologies and innovations to achieve sustainable development goals. By synergizing the efforts of Ethiopia and the Netherlands, and leveraging Microsoft’s advanced digital (AI/ML) technologies, this project represents a significant step towards transforming the daily lives of millions who struggle to access clean water. It calls for cooperation and integration to improve the lives of citizens across Africa.

H.E. Mr. Henk Jan Bakker, Dutch Ambassador to the African Union, emphasized: “This initiative underscores the Netherlands’ commitment to sustainable water management through innovation and collaboration. Aiming to create smarter water distribution systems, reduce losses, and attract private investment, the CCW project aligns with the Water Action Agenda of UN23 and accelerates progress towards SDG6. Together, we can ensure clean water access for all, protect our ecosystems, and adapt to a rapidly changing world.”

More Water of Better Quality for Dire Dawa, Ethiopia

Mayor of Dire Dawa, H.E. Ato Kedir Juhar, reflected: “I am proud of the partnership between DDWSSA and Nedamco Africa, which will tackle Dire Dawa’s water challenges. This innovative project is about securing a sustainable future for our city. The collaboration will ensure measurable improvements in water management, significantly increasing water access and enhancing the quality of life for all our residents. This project will also open doors to new financing for vital water infrastructure, empowering our community to meet the critical needs of a growing Dire Dawa.”

Mohammed Mussie, CEO of DDWSSA, added: “The launch of the CCW project in partnership with Nedamco Africa, addresses Dire Dawa’s pressing water challenges. By utilizing cutting-edge technologies, we aim to reduce water leakages and improve water quality, significantly enhancing the quality of life for our residents. This initiative is a major step towards a sustainable future, opening new avenues for financing vital water infrastructure and supporting our community’s efforts to meet the critical demands of water conservation.”

An important first step in improving water quality will focus on measuring key aspects such as chlorine levels. Based on these measurements, the best possible interventions can be determined and implemented. Another focus area of the project is to reduce Non Revenue Water (NRW) by fixing leaks.

Ariel Stern, Digital Water Expert at Nedamco Africa, explained: “For this we will use a revolutionary method of fixing existing leaks in the network: Trenchless Leak Repair. This method avoids excavating the pipes, minimizing disruption for Dire Dawa residents and significantly optimizing leak repair efficiency. All activities will be carried out by a mixed team of DDWSSA specialists and Nedamco staff. From day one, DDWSSA staff will be trained in using the equipment, ensuring the solution’s sustainability once the Nedamco project concludes.”

Innovative Financing Models and Cutting-Edge Technologies to Combat Water Scarcity

The CCW solution provides comprehensive dashboards for better insights into the water network, improving DDWSSA’s ability to address current challenges. These insights will optimize future measures and investments to enhance water quality, availability, and sustainability.

Anke den Ouden, CEO of Microsoft Netherlands, highlighted the technological and environmental benefits: “Utilizing Microsoft’s advanced cloud and AI technologies, this Digital Twin solution showcases the power of technology in enhancing water management and security. Optimizing water usage and distribution, this project sets a precedent for similar initiatives across the continent. Microsoft remains committed to supporting sustainable solutions that improve lives and preserve our planet’s health. Microsoft is proud to extend on the work that has been done since the initial announcement we did at the United Nations Water week in New York (March 2023) and at COP28 in Dubai.”

The project introduces innovative financing models, creating and issuing water credits based on UN VWBA standards, to quantify and monetize improvements in water quality and savings. The net proceeds of these water credits will serve as repayment capacity for the issuance of green bonds to fund interventions in Dire Dawa’s water infrastructure, ensuring continuous improvement and sustainability.

Nedamco Africa’s Zweder Wurfbain expressed pride in the collaborative efforts: “With the launch of the CCW project in Dire Dawa, I am immensely proud of our collaborative achievements. Combining cutting-edge technologies and innovative financing models, facilitates an important first step towards sustainable water management for the residents of Dire Dawa. We remain dedicated to addressing water challenges across Africa, ensuring a sustainable and prosperous future for all.”

The CCW project in Dire Dawa sets a foundational step towards city-wide adoption and serves as a model for other cities facing similar challenges, with the potential to impact millions of lives across Africa.

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