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

Endorsed by both the Governments of Ethiopia and the Netherlands, the project will build smart water distribution systems, reduce water loss, and attract private investment. Its activities are in alignment with the Water Action Agenda and will accelerate progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 6.

The city of Dire Dawa, the second most populous city in Ethiopia, and Nedamco Africa announced the launch of the Nedamco Africa Catchment-City-Waste (CCW) project at COP28 in the United Arab Emirates in December 2023. The project was officially launched in the presence of H.E. Habtamu Itefa Geleta (EngD), the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia’s Minister of Water and Energy, and H.E. Henk Jan Bakker, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the African Union.

Singing at the official launch of the Nedamco Africa CCW project, Ethiopia. Photo: Nedamco Africa
Signing at the official launch of the Nedamco Africa CCW project, Ethiopia. Photo: Nedamco Africa.

International cooperation on water management

The launch of the Nedamco Africa CCW project is a testament to the urgent need for new technologies and innovations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Ethiopia and the Netherlands’ joint activities and deployment of advanced digital technologies mean that this project represents a significant step towards transforming the daily lives of millions who struggle to access clean water. Improving the lives across Africa calls for cooperation and integration, which it is hoped that this project will exemplify.

The project features Dutch partners such as software producer Microsoft Netherlands, knowledge institute Deltares, and the start-up.

The CCW solution by Nedamco Africa and its partners is an integrated technology platform that directly addresses the critical challenges of water losses and inefficient management prevalent in rapidly urbanising regions like Dire Dawa. It embodies a holistic approach to water management by harnessing digital twin technology – AI/ML – and using satellite imagery to comprehensively monitor the water infrastructure, detect leaks, and predict the climate impact. Nedamco Africa CCW will significantly enhance the water quality, access, and availability for the one million residents in the Dire Dawa region.

H.E. Henk Jan Bakker emphasized the Netherlands’ role. “This initiative underscores the Netherlands’ commitment to sustainable water management through innovation and collaboration. By creating smart water distribution systems, reducing losses, and attracting private investment, the CCW project aligns with the Water Action Agenda and accelerates progress towards SDG 6. Together, we can ensure clean water access for all, protect our ecosystems, and adapt to a rapidly changing world.”

More and better quality water for Dire Dawa

H.E. Ato Kedir Juhar, the Mayor of Dire Dawa, reflected on the project. “I am proud of the partnership between DDWSSA (Dire Dawa Water Supply and Sewerage Authority) 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 increase water access and enhance 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 that “The launch of the CCW project in partnership with Nedamco Africa, addresses Dire Dawa’s pressing water challenges. Its cutting-edge technologies will reduce water leakage and improve water quality, thereby significantly enhancing our residents’ quality of life. 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.”

Innovative financing models and cutting-edge technologies to combat water scarcity

The CCW solution includes comprehensive dashboards to better monitor the water network and enable DDWSSA to address challenges more quickly. The insights this will generate will optimise future measures and investments that will further enhance water quality, availability, and sustainability.

Anke den Ouden, CEO of Microsoft Netherlands, highlighted the technological and environmental benefits. “By using Microsoft’s advanced cloud and AI technologies, this Digital Twin solution showcases the power of technology in enhancing water management and security. Optimising water usage and distribution, this project sets a precedent for similar initiatives across the continent.”

The project introduces innovative financing models, creating and issuing water credits based on volumetric water benefits accounting standards, to quantify and monetise improvements in water quality and savings. The nett proceeds of these water credits will serve as repayment capacity in issuing green bonds to fund interventions in Dire Dawa’s water infrastructure, thus ensuring continuous improvement and sustainability.

Nedamco Africa’s Zweder Wurfbain expressed pride in the collaborative efforts. “The launch of the CCW project in Dire Dawa makes me immensely proud of our collaborative achievements. The cutting-edge technologies and innovative financing models signify 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 is an important first 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.

This news item was originally published on the website of Nedamco Africa.