On 16 November, Aqua for All organised, in collaboration with USAID/ACCES, the workshop ‘Scaling up financing for water and sanitation’ for Senegalese financial institutions (FIs). Participants included representatives of 12 banks and microfinance institutions.
The workshop aimed to create a business case for developing water and sanitation lending products and services for households and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Innovative financial mechanisms, such as blended-finance, were presented to showcase the potential for financing water and sanitation in Senegal.
Access to finance is critical for the sustainable growth of Senegal’s water and sanitation sector. According to the World Bank, the country has one of the most developed water and sanitation systems in sub-Saharan Africa. However, rural areas are still lagging behind. Despite the increasing demand for these essential services, local water and sanitation enterprises and households have struggled to secure much-needed financing because financial institutions perceive lending to the sector as risky. Debunking this myth by sharing knowledge and building expertise could increase financial inclusion for water and sanitation.
During the workshop, participants explored collaboration opportunities with local and international partners to unlock capital by developing water and sanitation loan portfolios. In the coming months, two to four FIs will be selected to participate in a three-month technical assistance trajectory to assess and develop financial products.
Senegalese rural communities are still underserved, which opens opportunities for microfinance institutions to expand their portfolios and contribute to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 – safe water and sanitation for all.
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