(TAP) - The Siliana tertiary wastewater treatment plant project was put into operation on Monday following the completion of rehabilitation and extension works.

The project, financed by a concessional loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), is part of the project to improve the water environment in local towns.

JICA said in a statement Monday the rehabilitation and expansion of the wastewater treatment plant will increase the treatment capacity of the plant from 2321 cubic metres per day to 7000 cubic metres per day and improve the quality of wastewater treatment at the plant to preserve the environment in the region.

At a ceremony held on the occasion, Minister of the Environment, Leila Chikhaoui, welcomed the completion of the rehabilitation and expansion of this wastewater treatment plant in a relatively short period of time.

In a statement to TAP's correspondent in the region, she indicated that other similar projects will be carried out in 8 governorates (Jendouba, Beja, Zaghouan...) over the next four years.

Chikhaoui stressed the importance of using waste water in agriculture and industry, especially as Tunisia has considerable resources thanks to the network of the National Sanitation Utility (ONAS), created in 1974.

With an investment cost of 22 million dinars, the treatment plant is the first in north-west Tunisia to be equipped with tertiary wastewater treatment.

Resident Representative of the JICA Office in Tunisia, UENO Shuhei, said that "the completion of the works is one of the first substantial results achieved under this project.

He recalled that the Siliana wastewater treatment plant is one of the five plants that have received JICA funding for rehabilitation and extension works, besides Medjez El-Bab, Jendouba, Tabarka and Beja, as part of the project to improve the water environment in local towns.

"This project also aims to rehabilitate and extend sewerage networks in ten governorates: Beja, Jendouba, Siliana, Kef, Bizerte, Zaghouan, Sidi Bouzid, Kasserine, Kébili and Sfax," he said.

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