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Job Creation and Income Generation in Selected High-Impact Sectors in Senegal- Potable Water

Access to reliable, potable water is lacking throughout southern Senegal, particularly in rural areas. Typical NGO interventions include subsidized wells and pumps and poorly managed centralized water schemes all contributing to a system whereby broken pumps and clogged wells cannot be mended with local talent nor can new pumps be built to meet growing demand. And in southern Senegal where potable water lies only 15-25 meters (50-80 feet) deep, it remains too far for most affordable pumps and well drilling options.

However, EWV/Senegal has succeeded for over 20 years with its fully private sector approach to alleviating the water access problem. Through leveraging its experience from the north, as well as successful innovations in Niger and Burkina Faso, EWV used its manufacturer-led model of appropriate technology diffusion to develop markets for its ‘Erobon’-brand rope pump, the only low-cost pump on the market capable of lifting water from depths greater than 8 meters, as well as hand-augured tubewells and wrapped screen filters. Now an EWV ‘well and pump combo’ is available for less than a $1,000, one fifth the minimum cost of a typical hand-dug well and imported hand pump.

In a region still affected by a two decade civil conflict, community health centers, schools and even other local and international NGOs are finally able to affordably provide reliable potable water to their people. Due to the consistent high performance of the well and pump systems, EWV has seen more and more individual households making the safe and wise investment in purchasing a tubewell and pump. As a result, EWV trained a second well-drilling team to serve the growing west Casamance region demand, and pump manufacturers and retailers now cover towns and communities as far east as Kedougou. As of early 2006, over 7,300 people were benefiting from access to potable water in just under a year and a half of project implementation. That means 13 people a day or one person every two hours gains access to clean water directly due to EWV/Senegal’s potable water program.