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Senegal water program: one home, one tap


icona acquarubinettoDrinking water and sanitation for the rural communities of Coubalan, Niamone, Tenghory and Ouonk



Senegal, Region of Ziguinchor , District of Tenghory, Rural Communities of Comunità Coubalan, Niamone, Tenghory and Ouonk.



From 2005 to 2019



Our experience in Casamance, in Southern Senegal, in favour of access to drinking water started in 2005 when, on the basis of a long involvement in guiding local development processes in the villages of the rural community of Coubalan, ACRA was asked by the municipality of Cherbourg-Octeville to construct a first aqueduct and to support the local association that runs the service. In the three years that followed, funds from the European Commission (9° FED, Water Facility – 9 ACP RPR 39/3) enabled the intervention to be extended to 16 neighbouring villages thus guaranteeing 100% access to drinking water 60% access to adequate sanitation infrastructures for 17,000 people living in the rural community of Coubalan.

costruzione cisterna d'acquaThis first phase of the intervention was successfully concluded and on the basis of positive external evaluation, the other 68 villagges of the district of Tenghory have asked for an extension of the intervention to the neighbouring Rural Communities of Niamone, Tenghory and Ouonk and – together with the local communities, the community based associations and the whole population – have collaborated to raise the funds needed to design the new intervention. This undertaking, bringing water to the rural communities not reached by the water service, is achievable thanks to the contribution of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Agence de l'Eau Seine Normandie (the most important basin authority at European level) and again by the European Union.
The program is characterized as a successful model of decentralized cooperation and hybrid partnership between institutional actors of the South and of the North. Pulsating heart of this articulated intervention between the French Commune of Cherbourg-Octeville (a beacon in the movement for public water in Europe), the urban community (CUC, intermunicipal management board for water services), the 4 local communities and the district water services of Tenghory (FAAT), the University of Ziguinchor and PEPAM (Programme d'Eau Potable et d'assainissement du Millénaire), the latter promoted by the Senegalese Ministries for Waterworks, Prevention, Public Hygiene and Reclamation.
The program provides for the implementation of multi-village networks for the supply of drinking water to which every family is individually connected through a meter and a tap. The service is gauged to deliver 30 litres of drinking water per person per day and supports an innovative model of participatory management of the service.
The program supports the creation of a regional laboratory for microbiological testing and the training of technicians of the University of Ziguinchor for the control of the quality of the water, and is the only one in the country and one of the very few in Africa to apply the water salubrity plans.



To guarantee access to drinking water and household sanitation for the communities of Coubalan, Niamone, Tenghory and Ouonk through a participatory methodology for the management of natural resources.



The program includes the following interventions:


  • construction of a multi-village drinking water supply system with individual taps: 14 interconnected aqueducts supply 84 villages through a capillary household distribution;
  • a sustainable and ecological reclamation plan (waste disposal, support to local businesses and research/development of latrines that respond to the standards of the World Health Organization and to the needs of 60% of the poorer population);
  • support to the management and local governance through 14 consumer cooperatives federated in a single structure that manages the entire water cycle with honesty and transparency ;
  • education and promotion of good practices in personal and environmental hygiene through an innovative communication program (social theatre techniques and multimedia).




Direct beneficiaries:

The people of the Rural Communities of Coubalan (17,700), Niamone (10,500), Tenghory (16,300) and Ouonk (15,200).

Indirect beneficiaries:
the project will have positive indirect repercussions on the entire population of the Casamance.




In respect of the international standards established by the WHO, the infrastructures built have a minimum functional life of 30 years, in order to guarantee a greater sustainability of the interventions. Furthermore, all these infrastructures become property of the Senegalese Water Ministry and of the Rural Communities and are managed by local committees that have been adequately trained during the program.
Amongst the results that guarantee the institutional sustainability of the program in fact there is the creation of a Federation of local water consumer associations (ASUFOR) which are responsible for the management and maintenance of the waterworks implemented. The innovative model of federated management of the services constitutes a case of excellence studied in the country and used as a pilot model within the framework of the national reform of sector policies.
From an economic point of view, the program guides the consumer cooperatives in the definition of tariffs which guarantee on the one hand the full access by all citizens to the service, also the most vulnerable, and on the other hand the full covering of costs of the service and of amortisation of the systems, distributing these throughout the entire population in a fair and sustainable measure.



Valore delle varie fasi del programma:

  • 1.393.61 €  - project 9ACPRPR39/3 co-funded by UE - 2006-2009
  • 265.632 €  - project co-funded by l'Agence de l'Eau Seine-Normandie - 2010-2012
  • 1.704.292 €  - project 9505/ACRA/SEN co-funded by MAE - 2011-2014
  • 2.601.102 €  - project co-funded by l'Agence de l'Eau Seine-Normandie – 2011-2015
  • 1.009.903 - project 2012/256 424 co-funded by UE – 2011-2015
  • 1.876.000 € - project 010571/ACRACCS/SEN co-funded by MAE - 2016-2019

Funder and partners of the programm:


mae MAE - Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs


ue European Commission


  • Agence de l'Eau Seine-Normandie
  • Communauté urbaine de Cherbourg
  • Vilel de Cherbourg-Octeville
  • Monte dei Paschi di Siena
  • Ministry of hydraulics of Senegal
  • Programme Eau Potable et Assainissement du Sénégal
  • The rural communities of Coubalan, Niamone, Tenghory and Ouonk
  • University of Ziguinchor
  • Association for theeconomic and social development of Kalouunaye

Other agencies involved:
Senegalese Ministry of National Education
Water Integrity Network
FAAT, Fédération des associations d'usagers despuits de l'Arrondissement di Tenghory