Tunisia - Sidi El Barrak Dam Construction Project

Project Summary

Approval Date 20 Oct 1993
Signature Date 11 May 1994
Planned Completion Date 30 Jun 2004
Last Disbursement Planned Date 30 Jun 2004
Sovereign / Non-Sovereign Sovereign
Sector Agriculture and Rural Development
DAC Sector Code 31140
Environmental Category 1
Commitment U.A 18,500,000
Status Completion

Project General Description

The Sidi El barrak Development Project meets a pressing need and falls within broad objectives of the Tunisian Government’s Economic and Social Programme aimed at developing agriculture, tourism and industries which are the bases of the countries economy. It is in keeping with the North Master Plan. The Sidi El Barrak dam project will make it possible to supply 188 million m3/year, 35 million m3/year of which will be used locally for irrigation purposes and recharging Lake Ichkeul and the remainder will be conveyed to the regions of Tunis, Cap Bon and the Sahel. The water made available as a result of the project will enable the irrigation of an additional 4,085 hectares in the project area, contribute to the intensification and extension of agricultural production over 9,500 existing irrigated hectares in the Cap Bon region and make it possible to meet the rising demand for drinking water of an estimated population of 3.48 million inhabitants of the regions of Tunis, Cap Bon, Sousse and Sfax. The project comprises the construction of a reservoir dam with a capacity of 264 million m3 at the mouth of the Zouara Wadi, a pumping station and a discharge outlet followed by a channel to transfer the water from the reservoir to the sedjenane dam. Implementation of this work also requires the rebuilding of existing sections of roads and access roads included in the area to be flooded by the reservoir and the protection of agricultural and settlement areas by building dikes as well as the implementation of a resettlement programme for displaced persons.

Project Objectives

The project is intended to make a significant contribution to the economic and social development of the country, improve the living standards and incomes of the inhabitants of the areas benefiting from water resources obtained through the project and the protection of environmental conditions in these regions. In fact, this development should enable the tapping of a large volume of high quality water, in order to create favourable conditions for the improvement and extension of agricultural production and tourist and industrial development activities in the coastal region from Tunis to Sfax, avoid the degradation of the natural environment due to overtapping groundwater tables and increase the capacity of Lake Ichkeul which is an international wild bird sanctuary.


The direct beneficiaries of the project are the population of the North of Tunisia and the coastal region from Tunis to Sfax, who will benefit directly with regard to the availability of sufficient quantities of high quality water for irrigation and drinking water purposes, improved living conditions, the diversification and growth of monetary incomes. 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


IATI identifier 46002-P-TN-AAC-004
Last Update 29 Jul 2021


Contact Details

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

Geographic Location

Country Tunisia