SENEGAL – Senegal has made rapid progress over the last 10 years in expanding access to safe water and sanitation for its citizens.

Despite the efforts, only 21 percent of the overall population have access to safely managed sanitation, and those in Senegal’s poorest regions have significantly lower access rates to safe drinking water and sanitation.

This has resulted to many inhabitants suffering from illness and diseases related to the consumption of brackish, polluted, or infected water, such as diarrhoea, one of the main causes of infant mortality.

In pursuit to change the narrative, two Senegalese companies have recently been awarded a collective US$1.5 million in co-investment grants from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s regional initiative, the (Trade Hub) to improve sanitation and increase access to clean drinking water in the West African country.

To this end, West Africa Water SA and Delta SA, aim to extend and improve the sewage network in Senegal for nearly 150,000 households and provide access to potable water at an affordable price to almost 80,000 new individuals by 2025.

Under the project, West Africa Water SA, a subsidiary of Swiss Fresh Water SA, will receive US$505,000 to deploy its potable water-producing Diam’O franchise kiosk in 25 new locations in the Dakar region and improve the performance of 25 additional and existing kiosks in Dakar, Thies, and Kaolack regions.

Each water treatment machine can produce up to 4,000 litres of clean, filtered water per day.

Through greater distribution of these potable water kiosks through its franchisees/kiosk operators, West Africa Water SA will provide access to quality and affordable water to 78,905 individuals by 2023.

Approximately 413 jobs will be created and sustained, primarily for franchisee/kiosk operators, of which the majority will be women and/or youth.

Amadou Gaye, West Africa Water’s Managing Director said, “Our business model opens numerous opportunities for the economic empowerment of youth and women.

“Through supporting them to operate their own Diam’O franchise kiosk, they are able to learn and leverage key business skills and earn a stable income while providing clean drinking water within their communities.”

“This co-investment will also serve as a catalyst for our continued growth, with the support of our existing shareholders as well as new private and public partners,” adds Thomas Gajan, Swiss Fresh Water’s CEO.

The second company, Delta SA, is the recipient of US$999,493 co-investment grant from the Trade Hub to improve existing sanitation facilities and increase access to improved sanitation services in the face of increasing liquid and solid waste discharges coming from industries and homes.

The company is a leader in sewer and rainwater network maintenance services in Senegal, and this project will extend and improve the sewage network in Dakar, its suburbs.

Other regions targeted include Rufisque, Thies, Saint-Louis, Kaolack, Matam, Diourbel, and Tambacounda, for up to 1,187,799 individuals (148,475 households) by April 2024.

It will also create and sustain a total of 120 direct jobs, with 56 out of the 120 direct jobs dedicated to women and/or youth.

Etienne Chia-ah, Public-Private Partnership Manager for the Trade Hub said, “Clean water and proper sanitation are critical needs throughout Senegal.

“These projects will not only create jobs and preserve the environment, but also improve the health of Senegal’s residents.”

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