10 January 2023
Local essential services Sanitation Water

Decentralised cooperation, a lever for sustainable, universal access to drinking water and sanitation services

l’eau potable et l’assainissement

A look back at the partnership between the communes of Nabadji Civol in Senegal and Creil in France

Access to a drinking water service and improved sanitation remains a major issue in many countries. In Senegal, despite efforts by the government and its partners, many rural localities still have no access to these services.

Anda, Gassel, Binguel Mortodji, Thioffol, Binke, Boinadji 2… These villages in the commune of Nabadji Civol, in the north-east of Senegal, had long-term difficulties around access to drinking water and improved sanitation. Women had to walk more than five kilometres a day to find water, the quality of which was often inadequate. In schools, pupils and teaching staff had no access to improved sanitation facilities.

In 2010, the town of Creil (France) and the commune of Nabadji Civol undertook cooperation to resolve these issues. Having produced a local development plan for hydraulics and sanitation, NGOs GRET and Le Partnership were mobilised to conduct projects in these sectors. An initial phase focused on improving access to water and sanitation in four localities (Mbanane, Woudourou, Nabadji Civol and Tiguere Cire). A second phase was launched in 2019.

Today, thanks to this cooperation and the contribution of the Senegalese Office of rural drilling – which is in charge of drinking water in rural areas – 1,352 residents in Anda, Gassel, Binguel Mortodji, Thioffol and Binke have access to drinking water in their community. 6,334 residents have improved access to drinking water. The drinking water supply systems in these localities were inaugurated by the mayor of Creil and the chairperson of the Creil Sud Oise urban community, with the participation of the mayor of Nabadji Civol and the various partners in this project.

In the schools in Gassel, Anda, Thioffol and Boinadji 2, toilet blocks were constructed to ensure better conditions for pupils. Thanks to these blocks, pupils no longer need to go outside the school to access toilets and girls can attend classes without interruption. Toilet blocks are a prerequisite for health, dignity, wellbeing and reduction of gender inequalities in access to education. 468 pupils were trained and informed about best hygiene and sanitation practices.

With the implementation of an operational drinking water service, residents have new opportunities: for example, the women in Gassel are aiming to start up irrigated market gardening activities, while the village chief is planning to mobilise the population around reforestation activities in this semi-desert area.

In order to continue their joint efforts for universal access to drinking water and sanitation by 2030, Creil and Nabadji Civol have undertaken to further strengthen their cooperation in a new phase, which will begin in 2023.

The programme for access to drinking water and sanitation in Nabadji Civol is funded by the communes of Nabadji Civol, Creil, the Creil Sud Oise urban community, the Seine-Normandie Water Agency and the Senegalese National office of rural drilling.

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