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Senegal: EIB funding to improve water supply and waste management

The European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide $138,39 million (€114.5 million) in financial support to improve the drinking water supply and promote integrate solid waste management in Senegal.

The support will strengthen the country’s resilience to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and other future pandemics as climate change exacerbates the urgency of the situation. By focusing on secondary cities, the Bank is supporting Senegal’s efforts to achieve balanced development across the country, reducing geographical disparities to ensure greater regional equity. Sustainable cities are an absolute necessity given the country’s rapid urbanisation and high population pressure.

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Amadou Hott, Senegalese Minister of the Economy, Planning and Cooperation: “The long-standing partnership between Senegal and the EIB, spanning more than 55 years, has secured long-term investment that is helping to improve lives and increase economic opportunities across our country. We know that we can count on the EIB’s support to implement the government’s priorities for the second phase of the Emerging Senegal Plan. In particular, we would like to thank the EIB for the emergency operational measures it has taken in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The Bank’s additional funding has enabled the government to free up the financing capacity it needs in this pandemic.”

EIB President Werner Hoyer says the Bank has responded to the global crises with four COVID-19 operations in 2020 totalling nearly €210 million and covering all aspects of resilience in Senegal (health, economy, social and environment), including the two water and waste management operations.

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“Internationally, the COVAX initiative for equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines is supported by Team Europe through a $483,4 million (€400 million) loan from the EIB and a $120,8 million (€100 million) grant from the European Union. In practice, this means that 1.3 million doses will be delivered to Senegal. On 19 February 2021, the European Union and the EIB announced their intention to double their contribution to the COVAX initiative to $1,208 billion (€1 billion),” said Hoyer.

EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle pointed out the agreement to back the sustainable development of secondary cities in Senegal comes a year after EIB’s Africa Day 2020, which was held in Dakar under the theme sustainable cities. “Six months ago, the tragic floods in Senegal illustrated the country’s vulnerability to extreme weather events and the need for an integrated approach covering both water and solid waste. Today, the EIB’s fresh support for these two sectors is helping to preserve the environment and strengthen the country’s resilience to the pandemic and climate change,” said Fayolle.

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Both projects will help strengthen the country’s resilience to the ongoing pandemic and other future pandemics, particularly for vulnerable populations in suburban areas. Women responsible for domestic tasks related to waste and water will be among the beneficiaries as they make up a large number of waste-pickers, while access to water will preserve their privacy and increase the number of girls in education.

Strengthening drinking water supply and accelerating subsidised connections

Thanks to this partnership entered into at the end of February between the Senegalese government and the EIB, the residents of three cities, totalling 634 000 people, will have adequate access to drinking water. In addition, 35 000 connections (or 350 000 beneficiaries) will be subsidised across the country, on top of the 4 000 subsidised connections already planned for the three cities mentioned above.

The EIB operation will help Senegal guarantee water “for all”, both in terms of quantity to cope with rapid population growth, and quality to mitigate water pollution, while promoting social and regional equity. Under the emergency operational measures adopted by the Bank in the context of the pandemic, the EIB will exceptionally finance 90% of the project costs, compared with the standard maximum of 50%.

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The EIB-funded Senegal solid waste and COVID-19 project focuses on the regional components (north, centre and Casamance) of PROMOGED, the Senegal Integrated Solid Waste Management Project co-financed by the World Bank, AFD and AECID. The cities concerned should see a significant improvement, as the waste collection rate generally does not exceed 20-30%.

The project will benefit 20% of the Senegalese population, or 3.2 million people. It is in line with President Macky Sall’s zero waste programme and will produce a range of positive effects for Senegal’s environment (less pollution of the air, soil, rivers and ocean), economy (particularly for the tourism and fisheries sectors) and general public (sanitation, health and scope for certain waste-pickers to join the formal economy). This is the EIB’s first operation in the sector in Senegal.

Supporting Senegal’s national COVID-19 response

The two projects in Senegal addressing drinking water and solid waste will have an impact on specific initiatives aimed at improving healthcare services, social welfare and essential supplies needed to fight COVID-19. The nationwide expansion of the drinking water supply system by Société Nationale d’Exploitation des Eaux du Sénégal and the Solid Waste Management Coordination Unit’s National Waste Management Programme are making a significant contribution to public health policy in Senegal.

The EIB ‘s recent support has gone in particular to projects in the fields of water, solar energy, electrification (through SENELEC and especially in rural areas), healthcare, microfinance (through Baobab Senegal), as well as projects under the Economic and Social Resilience Programme.  

Theresa Smith
Theresa Smith is a Content Specialist for ESI Africa.