CONSTRUCTION OF A SOLAR ENERGY POWERED WATER SUPPLY SYSTEM, BOREHOLE PROJECT IN SENEGAL
The importance of safe drinking water cannot be overemphasized. The quantity and quality of drinking water in a household plays a significant role in determining development, hygiene, health, the quality of life, particularly for the people in remote and rural areas in developing countries. While the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to achieve universal and equitable access to safely managed drinking water for all, many developing countries have therefore prioritized ensuring universal access to at least basic services:
844 Million people lack basic drinking water services, approx. 2.2 billion people around the world do not have safely managed drinking water services, 4.2 billion people do not have safely managed sanitation services, and 3 billion lack of basic handwashing facilities.
This ‘unfinished business’ of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – that is, achieving universal access to basic water and sanitation services – requires us to place a particular focus on people in remote, rural, or out-of-reach areas, where 84% of people without basic drinking water live. Unsafe water and poor sanitation cause 1.5 million deaths every year . It is well understood that unsafe water has detrimental health outcomes, however, the impact of water goes beyond health. In 8 out of 10 households that do not have water on their compounds, women and girls take responsibility for collecting water, and thus improving drinking water means improving the quality of life and saftey for women and girls. While seeking to ensure universal access to safely managed drinking water, the need to increase resource allocations to basic water services must be continually advocated at international and national levels. (REF: Seungman Cha and Patrick Asuming, 2018).
Safe and readily available water is important for public health, whether it is used for drinking, domestic use and food production. Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that lack of access to safe, clean drinking-water and basic sanitation, as well as poor hygiene cause nearly 90% of all deaths from diarrhoea, mainly in children. It is for this reason that in 2010, the UN General Assembly explicitly recognized the human right to sufficient, continuous, safe, acceptable, physically accessible, and affordable water for personal and domestic use.
OUR PROPOSAL The intervention area:
The intervention area is located within the limits of the region of Matam in Senegal. Based on this target area, it can be argued that the project is in line with the efforts of the Senegalese Government and its development partners to improve the living conditions of the most vulnerable segments of the Senegalese population in sectors such as Water and Sanitation, Health and Social wellbeing, Social equity, and Revenues increase.
Map of Senegal, representation of Matam Region
The region of Matam is located between 14 ° 20 and 16 ° 10 North latitude, 12 ° 40 and 14 ° 60 West longitude in the North-Eastern part of Senegal. It is bounded to the north by Mauritania and the region of Saint-Louis, to the south and southeast by the region of Tambacounda, to the southwest by the region of Kaolack, to the east by Mauritania, and to the west by the Louga region. The Senegal River borders the region throughout its eastern and northern part, over a length of approximately 200 km. The region covers an area of 29,616 km 2, consisting of more or less 1/7 of the national territory.
The region of Matam has many villages that are still insufficiently covered with drinking water and users’ pressure on the few existing water points is important, particularly when this water is also used to water livestock in an area where cattle breeding embodies economic and cultural values. The scarcity of potable drinking water however contrast with the hydrographic potential of the region which is characterized by an abundance of freshwater thanks to the many streams that run through that region. That potential is very little exploited mainly because of the depth of the water tables causing very expensive water extraction costs. Another factor that makes extraction works particularly expensive is the geographic isolation of certain localities which makes it very difficult to mobilize drilling equipment.
In addition to the difficulties to extract water, this isolation constitutes an obstacle to the economic development of the region, which, moreover, is slow to benefit from rural electricity and water supply programmes that are being implemented by public authorities since several decades. Therefore, agriculture and cattle breeding are the main sources of livelihood or income generating activities. As a consequence, the survey conducted by the Executive Secretariat for Food Security (SECNSA) revealed that Matam falls into the category of regions that are most threatened by food insecurity. According to the results of that survey, the irregularities of the rains constitute another factor that makes this region particularly prone food insecurity. Due to the insufficiency of potable water points, the populations of the target area often end up using surface water (ponds, rivers and their branches.) for drinking and most household tasks, including laundry and washing. Naturally, such practices are conducive to the proliferation of diarrheal diseases that especially affect children.
As part of its experiential initiatives, a partnership with the commune will be established by supporting the latter in the planning of community development actions and the elaboration of alternative funding strategies. Indeed, in Senegal, as in most Sub-Saharan Africa countries, one of the main factors that hinders the capacity of local communities to meet the needs of their people is the insufficiency of their financial resources.
The vast majority of their budgets are supplied by aid funds allocated by the state, which definitely cover a tiny part of their financing needs.
Taking into account the correlation previously established between the difficulties of access to water and the precarious economic and health situation in the villages of the region of Matam, the interventions of this project was built upon an integrated approach articulated around the five Goals of the SDS, namely goals 1,3,5, 6, and 8 (poverty reduction, well-being and health, water and sanitation, gender equality, and decent work and economic growth). The purpose of the project is to guarantee access to potable drinking water as a priority for human consumption, while also fostering the improvement of households economic power through the empowerment of women organizations. The project’s basic principle is to generate income from populations contributions to use the provided facilities that will be ultimately fund small- scale farming activities..
The Project aims to be innovative through the approach it puts forward. Indeed, to meet the various expectations that may arise from the target communities, the Project proposes a multidimensional intervention for the implementation of which a partnership will be established between our onsite team and the beneficiary local communities. The objective of this partnership is to rely on these two implementing organizations to provide counterpart resources (human and logistics) for the various expenses entailed by the activities to be implemented.
The image below illustrates the integrated nature of the project and how it relates to the above- mentioned SDGs:
MONITORING OF ACTIVITIES
Feedback at the operational level
Feedback at the strategic level
Potential problems and mitigation measures
Budget limits/Expensive drilling costs
As in most development initiatives, the Project is confronted with the Resource-Need dichotomy, the former being limited whereas the latter is innumerable. Hence the need to rationalize the expenses for efficient use of available funds. In that regard, the first measure was to establish a joint venture to pool the resources of the different organizations involved in the implementation.
Although they all intervene in the same geographical area, the intervening organizations have been selected according to their prerogatives and expertise that may serve in the achievement of the project’s activities. In addition to human resources, the contribution of the project team in terms of logistics and the provision of premises to house the project’s activities, has made it possible to considerably reduce expenses which would have otherwise absorbed a significant part of the budget.
Involvement of local communities
Beyond the project team, the success of the project is mainly dependent on the participation of the target community. Their nonadherence to the project’s purpose would highly compromise its relevance. To mitigate that risk, the baseline (household) survey will be a springboard to raise their awareness on the aims of the project, the outline of its action plan,and most importantly its positive impact in terms of community well-being. To this end, the enumerators will receive induction training on the main lineaments of the project, to provide them with the required knowledge to fairly promote it to the target communities. Also, the representatives of the households within the target village will be invited to an information seminar during which further information about the project will be given while allowing them to give their opinion on the planning and implementation of the activities.
Capitalization of the Project’s achievements
The Project’s sustainability is highly contingent on the appropriation of its achievements by the project team and the beneficiary population. In this regard, the partnership agreement signed with the commune will include clauses that will commit the commune to incorporate the monitoring of the project in its annual action plan and budget for three (3) years after the completion of the activities. Furthermore, the project team will draft a Manuel of Procedures that summarizes all the activities that have been carried out, with details on the resources that have been mobilized for each activity, the problems encountered the final outputs, and proposals on possible avenues for improvement. The Manual of Procedures will be widely disseminated among development partners intervening in the target area.
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