Senegal showcased for sustainability in Rural Water and Sanitation
AA – The African Development Bank and the Senegalese Ministry for Water Resources and Sanitation have fine-tuned their planning of a new US $54-million program to improve access to water and sanitation in the most challenging rural regions of the country. High on the agenda of priorities is the alignment with the just-launched UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG number 6 pledges availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
As the third program to improve water and sanitation in the most challenging regions of Senegal kicks off, Mansour Faye, Senegalese Minister for Water Resources and Sanitation and current President of AMCOW, the African Ministers’ Council on Water, said “the African Development Bank has been by our side from the start and its Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI) has played an important role, particularly to leverage aid for ‘PEPAM’, our rural water and sanitation programs.”
AfDB’s RWSSI is a committed partner to government programs in 33 countries and is well positioned to analyze the successes and shortfalls of applied sustainability strategies. Established cooperation between the AfDB, the Senegalese government, AMCOW and UNICEF contributes to establishing best practices.
In Senegal, the Government links rural water and sanitation actions with community knowledge-building and development. PEPAM programs systematically include capacity-building initiatives which aim to handover the construction and maintenance of water and sanitation facilities to the users themselves. Beneficiary groups are responsible for the distribution of water, collection of payments and basic maintenance of the facilities, including contractual follow-up with suppliers. Retrospectively, the investment over the last 10 years has been conclusive both in terms of buy-in and sustainability. The closer beneficiaries feel to the programs, the more sustainable the water and sanitation actions are. “There are many examples of how communities across Africa are getting involved to improve their own water and sanitation situation,” said Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF’s West and Central Africa Regional Director. “Together we can make sure that best practice is available to all African countries to save more children’s lives.”
Bai Mass Taal, AMCOW Executive Secretary said “AMCOW, in collaboration with the African Union, the AfDB and other partners, will provide the leadership to mobilize necessary resources for the SDG 6 in Africa. Failure is not an option”.
Mohamed El Azizi, Director of the AfDB Water and Sanitation Department, concluded. “Across the African continent, an estimated 455 million people out of the 700 million living in rural areas still lack access to basic sanitation facilities. By joining forces with all stakeholders, we gain in efficiency and best practices. SDG 6 is ambitious but absolutely necessary for development in Africa. We have our work cut out for us.”
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