Improving sanitation and increasing access to clean drinking water in Senegal are the goals of two companies recently awarded a collective $1.5 million (842 million FCFA) in co-investment grants from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s regional initiative, the West Africa Trade & Investment Hub (Trade Hub).
Senegal has made rapid progress over the last 10 years in expanding access to safe water and sanitation for its citizens. Still, 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. Many inhabitants suffer from illness and diseases related to the consumption of brackish, polluted, or infected water, such as diarrhea, one of the main causes of infant mortality.
Two established companies, West Africa Water SA and Delta SA, will address this challenge with Trade Hub-funded projects that will 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.
Senegal-based West Africa Water SA, a subsidiary of Swiss Fresh Water SA, will build upon its goal of producing and commercializing safe and secured drinking water in Senegal with a $505,000 (287 million FCFA) Trade Hub co-investment grant.
As one of the Trade Hub’s first co-investment partnerships in the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector, the company will leverage its investment to deploy its potable water-producing “Diam’O franchise kiosks” 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 liters 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.
“Our business model opens numerous opportunities for the economic empowerment of youth and women,” says Amadou Gaye, West Africa Water’s Managing Director. “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.
A second company, Delta SA, is the recipient of a $999,493 (555 million FCFA) 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, and the regions of 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.
“Clean water and proper sanitation are critical needs throughout Senegal,” said Etienne Chia-ah, Public-Private Partnership Manager for the Trade Hub. “These projects will not only create jobs and preserve the environment, but also improve the health of Senegal’s residents.”