World Bank Supports Expanded Water and Sanitation Services in Senegal

Washington — The World Bank Group's Board of Executive Directors approved a US$70 million credit to improve access to safe drinking water and sanitation services in urban and peri-areas in Senegal. The project will benefit an estimated 590,000 people in 2020, of which 50 percent are women.

The credit from the International Development Association (IDA)* supports the Urban Water and Sanitation Project, a program to quickly address difficulties arising from water shortages in the Dakar region. The project also will help boost water services in Petite Côte and increase access to water services throughout the country. A separate component will increase access to urban sanitation services outside of Dakar.

"The Government of Senegal has made great strides in providing improved water and sanitation services to the country's urban and rural households," says Matar Fall, World Bank Task Team Leader for this Project.

"This project will help the country to meet the needs of the ever-increasing urban population, particularly those of the poorest families living in periurban areas, by providing affordable and safe drinking water and improved sanitation services.

Today's project will support the development of groundwater resources as a step towards diversifying the water supply sources for the Dakar region.

Activities to enhance the rehabilitation of water infrastructure in the urban center of Nguekhokh will improve water production, storage capacity and distribution before incorporating the city within SONES perimeter. The installation of water distribution pipes and household water service connections in urban areas will increase access to affordable safe water for mostly poor households.

The Government of Senegal has made important progress providing access to water and sanitation services. Urban areas now have near-universal access rate to safe water of 98 percent (exceeding the MDGs target of 96 percent), but rapid population growth has led to water shortages in the Dakar and in Petite Côte, a prime tourist area. 62% percent of the urban households have access to sanitation services compared to the MDGs target of 78%, with important disparities between Dakar and the other urban centers.

In Senegal, as in other developing countries, the primary responsibility for fetching water falls mostly on women and girls.

Today's project will help reduce gender inequalities by reducing the burden of hauling water, and will provide convenient solutions to wastewater disposal, another task falling mostly on women. Women will also play a prominent role in the hygiene education and information programs and be involved in the selection of the location of public sanitation facilities.

"The project will contribute directly to the World Bank twin goals of eradicating poverty and sharing prosperity more equally to the benefit of the poor.

By expanding access to clean water and sanitation the project will help boost the health of Senegal's urban population," noted Fall. "Water access can also form the basis for many types of income-generating activities such as home-based manufacturing and services that can turn the poor into local entrepreneurs."

* The World Bank's International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world's poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people's lives.

IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world's 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.8 billion people, the majority of whom live on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $18 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent going to Africa.