In the week of World Cleanup Day, the Netherlands has helped to kick off efforts to improve the water quality in Senegal’s Hann Bay. On 14 September the Senegalese and Dutch governments signed a DRIVE grant arrangement worth €20 million.
The signing marked the start of an initiative to develop a sewerage network, water treatment plant and water management system in the Hann Bay. The area, located in the Senegalese capital of Dakar, is affected by severe pollution. This has a drastic impact on the health and employment rate of the local population, as well as a damaging effect on biodiversity and water quality. The contribution from DRIVE will provide the funding needed to work towards a sustainable solution.
Improved health and employment opportunities
A clean bay will benefit the local population in many ways. It will improve not only their living environment and the water quality, but also their job prospects. The bay’s residents are currently living and working in a heavily polluted environment. The water in the bay is so contaminated with faeces and wastewater that it is causing numerous health issues. For example, according to a UN study (2005) over one-third of the local population suffers from skin conditions due to this pollution.
Water treatment and raising awareness
The water treatment plant will ensure that untreated wastewater from businesses and households is no longer discharged into the bay. This will result in a cleaner bay, which will in turn improve the quality of life for locals. The DRIVE project involves the development of other facilities as well, such as pumping stations.
In addition to building these new facilities, the project will also focus on raising awareness. This will be achieved by:
- launching campaigns aimed at behavioural changes among the local population;
- imposing additional, dissuasive levies on polluting companies;
- encouraging businesses to invest in their own treatment plants before being connected to the sewerage network.
Less untreated wastewater
The DRIVE project is expected to be completed in 2021. Business and households in the Hann Bay will then be able to use a new sewerage system. One of the project objectives is to reduce the amount of untreated water that ends up in the bay.
The total project costs amount to €60 million. In a potential second phase, the Senegalese government will further expand the network and build a second treatment plant for secondary treatment of the wastewater.
Development Related Infrastructure Investment Vehicle (DRIVE)
DRIVE is the new updated programme for public infrastructure. It is a flexible financing instrument which focuses on the investment phase of public infrastructure initiatives in developing countries. The programme is administered by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl) on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Interested in learning more about other projects funded by this programme and its predecessor ORIO? Have a look at the overview of DRIVE and ORIO projects.