The World Bank board approved a US$50 million grant May 13 for power and water supply work in Burundi.
The grant, through the bank’s International Development Assoication, includes financing for feasibility studies of small hydropower projects.
The multi-sectoral water and electricity infrastructure project is to increase access to water in the Bujumbura area, improve electricity and water quality and reliability in the region, and strengthen the water and electric utility, Regie de Production et de Distribution d’Eau et d’Electricite (REGIDESO).
The project is to allot US$1.5 million to pre-feasibility and feasibility studies of run-of-river micro-hydropower projects having no major dam works. It includes pre-feasibility studies of the four most promising sites identified in a 1983 study of hydro generation options. A second phase would complete detailed feasibility and bidding documentation for the two best-evaluated candidate projects.
Another US$500,000 is allotted to a strategic study of renewable energies such as micro-hydro, wind, solar, and other sources.
In addition to the small hydro feasibility studies, the project is to assist in rehabilitation of Burundi’s primary power grid and the establishment of demand management measures. It also is to help expand water treatment capacity and distribution.