AfDB helps Senegal turn on the taps

23 Jul 19

A significant boost to irrigation aims to help Senegal increase agricultural production, employment and incomes in rural areas.

The African Development Bank has approved a loan of €87m to the country’s government to greatly improve access to water in countryside areas.

The move will have a direct impact on 300,000 people and could help to create 28,000 decent jobs while boosting rural incomes.

As part of the project to improve the water supply for the development of value chains – known as PROVALE-CV –  the AfDB will provide €60.8m

A further €26.8m will come from the ‘Africa Growing Together Fund’, a $2bn facility sponsored by the People’s Bank of China and administered by the AfDB.

Developed with the support of the Bank, it is the first project under Senegal’s small-scale Local Irrigation National Development Programme. 

This operates in three agro-ecological areas in the country – Les Niayes, the groundnut basin, and Casamance – and covers the eight administrative regions of Kaolack, Fatick, Kaffrine, Diourbel, Thiès, Ziguinchor, Sédhiou and Kolda.

The AfDB project will run for 5 years until October 2024 and aims to increase agricultural production, employment and incomes in rural areas through the use of surface and underground water. 

It will extend across 12,730 hectares including 7,950 hectares fed by retention dams, 3,980 recovered hectares, 800 hectares of borehole-fed market gardens, production roadways, warehouses and pastoral infrastructure.

Senegal has long grappled with water shortages and about 25% of the population lacks basic access to water, despite having one of the most developed water supply and sanitation sectors in sub-Saharan Africa.

The World Bank has supported a number of initiatives to increase access to sustainable water and sanitation services in the country.

AfDB believes PROVALE-CV will have a significant impact on 38,000 households – about 300,000 people – and of the 28,000 jobs created, 30% will be for women and 40% for young people.

The initiative should help to push up an average increase in earnings from agricultural production of around €1,520 per beneficiary, according to Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbadé, the AfDB’s general manager for West Africa.

  • Gavin O'Toole, expert on Latin America
    Gavin O'Toole

    A freelance journalist. He has written six books about Latin America and taught the politics of the region at Queen Mary, University of London.

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