Support for Increased Access to Sustainable Water and Sanitation Services in Senegal

February 19, 2010

WASHINGTON, February 2010 - The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a US$55 million credit to contribute to increased access to sustainable water and sanitation services in selected rural and urban areas of Senegal within the next five years.

According to Habib Fetini, Country Director, “This new financing for the Water and Sanitation Millennium Project (PEPAM) is crucial to the achievement of the Water and sanitation Millenium Development Goals (MDGs),  by improving access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation services for more than half a million people in rural areas and peri-urban poor fringe areas.”

He also noted, “Senegal’s water and sanitation sector is one of the most developed in sub-Saharan Africa, as the country has already reached the MDG on urban water and has made decisive steps to reach the MDG on rural water.”

Regarding the institutional context in which the project will be implemented, Habib Fetini noted that “Senegal has a proven record in designing innovative reforms and policies in the water and sanitation sector.” He recalled that the reform of the urban water sector, with the establishment of an effective public-private partnership (PPP) “is considered a world-class model and has been replicated with success in several sub-Saharan countries.” This PPP is between the Government, a public asset holding (National Water Company of Senegal, or SONES) in charge of investments, and a private utility (Senegalese Water Utility or SDE) in charge of delivering services.

In order to maintain the “pace of success” in the sector, the Country Director hoped that “the preparation of the second generation reforms in view of end of the current lease contract by April 2011, should be conducted in a transparent manner and based on a shared analysis of all available options for the sustainable development of the sector, based on the principle of financial autonomy with socially acceptable tariffs.”

“This World Bank support will help  facilitate access to services through programs for improving and extending water production and distribution systems  and urban sanitation networks, by constructing social water and sanitation household connections, public standpipes and on-site sanitation facilities,” indicated Matar Fall, the Bank’s Task Team Leader.

The project will also consolidate the achievements of urban water reform, support reform of the rural water subsector, and strengthen capacities to deliver and manage water and sanitation services.

The credit, which includes a US$5 million contribution under the Crisis Response Window (CRW), will also promote the emergence of local Water Users Associations (ASUFOR) and of small private operators in rural areas,  Fall said.

He recalled that the World Bank has been Senegal’s leading partner in the sector for more than 15 years, providing support for the preparation and implementation of the PEPAM since 2005 under the Long Term Water Sector Project, which closed in June 2009.

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