With 88.5% of Senegalese households already having access to drinking water – 98.7% in urban areas and 80% in rural, respectively – Senegal was well-positioned to reach its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on water supply, senior government officials said.
Senegal’s MDG targets for water supply are 100 percent urban coverage and 82% rural coverage.
Sénégalaise des Eaux (SDE) director-general Mamadou Dia, who bragged in October 2012 that his country’s 98.7% water coverage in urban areas will lead to the MDGs achievement on universal coverage, revealed what a 2006 WSP-Africa report had already predicted.
The report said at the time that based on analysis of strategy of implementation, Senegal appeared to be on the right track to achieve the MDGs for water supply, with lesser prospects for sanitation.
Senegal President Macky Sall, who made water and sanitation his priorities in his first term at the presidency, said his government will spend US$50 million to not only consolidate gains on water and sanitation, but also work towards achieving those goals.
Sall said Senegal’s current statistics on water coverage were encouraging and gave it a strong chance to reach the MDGs on water supply.
He made these remarks at an African forum for water and sanitation held in the capital city Dakar towards the end of last year.
In the absence of potable water in rural Senegal, NGOs have also made meaningful interventions to provide impoverished communities with safe drinking water. This is the case of Water Charity, whose ambitious progamme is helping build 52 water pumps in 52 weeks in 2012.
The innovative programme is being undertaken in partnership with Peace Corps Senegal.
Peace Corps volunteers Marcie Todd and Garrison Harward said on the Water Charity website that the tried-and-proven rope pump system technology is inexpensive and provides a sizable output, is easy to build using local materials and simple to maintain.
With the MDGs deadline of 2015 approaching fast, African countries are scrambling to do whatever they can to reach even one goal out of their eight as agreed at the Millennium Summit in September 2000.
But the harsh reality is that very few will reach that finish line because, as analysts put it, the prospects of them doing so were less favourable as they remain trapped in a hostile environment they have created themselves.
The World Bank’s 2010 Africa’s Pulse report said: “Sustained growth and faster progress on the MDGs will depend on how well African countries address longer term challenges of large infrastructure deficits, lagging agricultural productivity, poor service delivery, weak governance, and climate change.”
*PIC: WATER CHARITY.