Commercializing Communities: Transitions in Water Management in Rural Senegal

25 Jun 2013

This study found that financial management of rural water at the community level in Senegal has been strengthened by recent reforms. The Senegal experience shows the benefits of operating water systems at scale. A key element to the success of the rural water model in Senegal is the use of multi-village schemes rather than the villagelevel pump. These schemes mean that several villages and significant populations have a stake in ensuring their
sustainability. In addition, it is cheaper per capita to operate a well serving several villages.

However, some households classified as having access to water often find it difficult to pay. In addition, poor households that cannot afford a household connection are forced to pay a higher tariff for water from stand-posts.
There seemed to be more emphasis on cost recovery than affordability or equity when it came to financing water. Prices were high with a regressive tariff structure.


This study examines the impact of water management policy reforms in rural areas of Senegal, drawing on interviews with key stakeholders, community representatives and households. Section 2 sets out the conceptual
framework and research methodology. Section 3 explores the context for the research, starting with an overview of rural water supply in SSA before moving to Senegal. An analysis of the research findings is provided in section 4,
and conclusions and policy implications are set out in section 5.

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