New multi-million-dinar water transport network projects are set for Bahrain after the Shura Council put its seal of approval on two Royal decrees for loans from international organizations.
The kingdom is seeking $80 million from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and $41mn from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, for Phase II of the development of Al Dur Power and Water Plant.
Shura Council financial and economic affairs committee vice-chairman Redha Faraj said water supply was expected to increase from 744,000 cubic metres per day to 971,000 cubic metres by 2026.
“The new projects are expected to transport an additional 50 million gallons of water across Bahrain,” he said, during the weekly session of the National Assembly’s upper chamber.
The move would benefit 420,000 people across Bahrain and 100,000 families living in areas near Al Dur mainly Janabiya and south Saar, he added.
First vice-chairman Jamal Fakhro chaired the session, as Shura Council Chairman Ali Saleh Al Saleh attended the seventh edition of the Prime Minister’s Press Awards.
The loan requests were already approved by MPs in March this year.
Meanwhile, members were notified of Municipalities Affairs and Agriculture Minister Wael Al Mubarak’s response on food security.
They were also informed that an amendment to scrap the controversial rape article has been referred to the foreign affairs, defence and national security committee for review.
The move also received global support as UN Resident Coordinator in Bahrain Khaled El Mekwad congratulated Bahrain after Parliament voted to scrap Article 353 from the 1976 Penal Code, which had exempted rapists from prosecution if they married their victims.
“This landmark legislative reform will increase the protection of the fundamental rights of women and girls in Bahrain,” he said.
“It represents another significant step towards achieving Bahrain’s global commitments for the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
“The reform is also a highly positive achievement in the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.”
He added that in July, Bahrain will present its second Voluntary National Report on progress in the national implementation of Agenda 2030 to the High-Level Political Forum in New York.
“This legislative milestone highlights the kingdom’s leadership on gender-inclusive sustainable national development.”
The UN in Bahrain also congratulated the Supreme Council for Women (SCW), whose co-ordination of the National Strategy for Bahraini Women under the leadership of Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, wife of His Majesty the King and SCW President, has driven momentum for sustainable development that recognizes and benefits from the full participation of women.
“The UN remains committed to continue supporting Bahrain in achieving Agenda 2030, including SDG 5.”