Tunisia - Barbara Dam Project

Project Summary

Approval Date 14 Dec 1992
Signature Date 12 May 1993
Planned Completion Date 31 Dec 2003
Last Disbursement Planned Date 31 Dec 2003
Sovereign / Non-Sovereign Sovereign
Sector Agriculture and Rural Development
DAC Sector Code 31140
Commitment U.A 30,200,000
Status Completion

Project General Description

The Barbara dam project answers a pressing need and is in line with the overall objectives of the economic and social development programme of the Tunisian Government, of which the development of agricultural production is one of the principal goals. It fits into the Water Masterplan for the North. The project consists in the construction of a dam-reservoir of a total capcity of 74 million m3; a pumping station followed by a delivery pipe and culvert for transferring water to the Medjerda Wadi basin. Implementation of the works also requires the construction of access roads as well as the carrying out of a programme of resettlement of displaced persons. Water made available through the project will make it possible to maintain and improve the irrigation of 77,000 existing hectares, 20,378 new ha to be established in the same region, implementation of which is to be done in the coming ten years. The water mobilized will also contribute to the improvement of the quality water. As an integral part of the Water Masterplan for the North, the project will also help to make drinking water of better quality accessible to a large population, with all that this entails in terms of its favourable impact on health and living standards, environmental protection, which is definitely more favourable to the development of tourist activities.

Project Objectives

Implementation of the Barbara dam responds to three main objectives: (i) it will contribute to the supply of irrigation water; (ii) it will improve th quality of mobilized resources with regard to drinking water and human health, and in terms of agriculture and fruit cultivation. This project should make it possible to mobilise water of good quality and in large quantity, with a view to making up the volume to be taken off by Algeria in the Medjerda and Mellegue Wadis. Giving its low salt content (0.3 g/l) the Barbara water will also contribute to reducing the threat of salinization of the soils of the Medjerda basin areas. The Barbara dam projet will mobilise 80.0 million m3 of water a year.


The project’s direct beneficiaires are the inhabitants of the north of Tunisia who will derive direct benefits, among which may be cited the availability of water in quantity and of quality, improvement of living standards, diversification and increase in monetary income. The irrigation schemes which the project will develop intensively, consistently, and in a sustained manner, will help the farmers in creating groups of producers and various socio-professional associations, initiate some of them to the use of more elaborate production techniques, management of collective equipment, increase knowledge of water supply and irrigated crops; ensure water control and regulate yields.

Participating Organization

African Development Bank
Government Of Tunisia
Direction des Etude et Grands Travaux Hydrauliques


IATI identifier 46002-P-TN-AAC-003
Last Update 02 Oct 2022


Contact Details

Name RIBEIRO Joseph Martial
Email j.ribeiro@afdb.org

Geographic Location

Country Tunisia