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    In Abidjan, the capital of the Ivory Coast, an 18-million pound (33-million U.S. dollars) loan?

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    In Abidjan, the capital of the Ivory Coast, an 18-million pound (33-million U.S. dollars) loan from the World Bank had allowed work to begin on a new city sewage system. Abidjan, a small town when the country became independent in 1960, has since been transformed into a skyscraper city, and the present drainage system has been unable to cope with the population of over in million.

    SYNOPSIS: New pumping stations and drainage canals will serve the city and suburbs helping, in part, to deal with a mounting sanitation problem. At the moment, especially during the rainy season, the narrow sewers are often blocked and are breeding grounds for disease-carrying flies.

    The problem is only one of a number facing the Ivory Coast, which has the highest growth rate in black Africa. Though the former French colony is experiencing boom times with a economy based mainly on coffee and cocoa production, many of the population live at subsistence level. However, the country's President, Felix Houphouet-Boigny, is attempting to provided his people with improved health, water, electricity and drainage facilities.

    There's already been progress in urban areas, the telephone system works, public transport runs on time and export commitments are met. And this helps explain why so many foreign companies operating in West Africa run businesses from the Ivory Coast. The French population has increased four times since independence and they play an important role in trade and commerce. Indeed, the capital's new sewer system will depend on European expertise, as the contracts to build it have gone to three French companies.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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