From 14 – 20 November 2020, Aqua for All undertook its first mission to Senegal to get a better understanding of the Senegalese water and sanitation economy. We identified the needs of WASH entrepreneurs and explored opportunities for future collaborations with partners working on the realisation of SDG 6.
During the mission, it became clear that Senegal faces many challenges in the field of WASH. There is a strong need to develop and strengthen sanitation facilities and services, and this need is even bigger in rural areas.
It was very inspiring to see that a lot is going on in Senegal in the field of entrepreneurship within the WASH sector. Obviously, the motivated Young Water Fellows who presented their innovative business ideas during the event they organised on 12 November together with Young Water Solutions, cewas, Enabel and Concree, reflected the great entrepreneurial potential this country has to offer. Currently, there are many interesting developments in the field of start-ups and within the already established enterprises. Nevertheless, further pipeline development is required to show the potential of the sector.
It was very exciting to learn that the Senegalese finance sector considers adding WASH to its portfolio. However, more involvement of financial institutions is still highly needed, which certainly needs a push.
Finally, during this scoping mission, we had meetings with interesting stakeholders that have been active in the Senegalese WASH sector for quite a while. In particular, USAID WASH-FIN has played an important role to advance the sector and their work is very much aligned with Aqua for All’s mission.
To conclude, we would like to thank all the stakeholders who took the time to update us on the situation in their country. As Aqua for All, we have obtained a good impression of the existing challenges, possibilities and opportunities in Senegal. Of course, it will take some time to establish a network in our ‘new’ focus country, but the first steps have been taken and we are confident that this mission will bring forward some exciting and fruitful collaborations that will lead to a more sustainable, inclusive and innovative water and sanitation economy in Senegal!