Access to sanitation and drinking water is the sixth UN Sustainable Development Goal for 2030. Why can we be optimistic about achieving this goal and what is your main source of concern?
Access to drinking water for all is an important issue for humanity as a whole, to such an extent that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has placed this issue among the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The government of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, appropriating this global concern, made the Ivorian peoples’ access to drinking water a major aspect of its policy. However, a lot more needs to be done. In order to reduce drinking water shortages throughout Côte d’Ivoire and address all distribution network dysfunctions, the state has identified structural projects within the framework of the “Water for All” programme. These projects, with a total cost of 1,320 billion CFA francs, will increase the population’s access to drinking water to 95 percent in 2020.
The lack of access to drinking water is considered to mainly affect rural communities in developing countries. How does ONEP propose to manage this particular problem?
In 2011 at the end of the crisis, the breakdown rate of the 16,000 water points in operation was 50 percent. The government has rehabilitated 9000 water points and constructed nearly 1,400 new manually-operated water pumps. The manually-operated pump park, estimated to have 22,000 pumps, is ageing with an average age of more than 20 years. Population increase is causing frequent breakdowns, the rate of which was estimated at 40 percent in December 2016. The implementation of the contract for the rehabilitation and maintenance of manually-operated pumps by SODECI will ensure the pumps are in good working order. “Professionalising” the management of rural water supply systems or entrusting their management to Regional Councils is being considered.
What role can the private sector play to ensure that other developing countries start to benefit from ongoing, reliable and sustainable access to safe drinking water? Could you give us an example of the work you have done so far?
Think of independent water producers like you would the electricity sector in the context of PPP to relieve the state. The second phase of the programme concerns all other projects identified during the presidential water council, including 28 structural projects. Funding for six of these structural projects amounting to 113 billion is acquired. To relieve the state in terms of investment in water infrastructure, the Ministry of Economic Infrastructures proposes to orient itself towards independent water producers through PPP on certain structural projects. The quantities of water produced in this framework will be sold to SODECI to be distributed or paid by the state, as was done in the electricity sector.
What would you like to achieve as a priority in the next 12 months as managing director of ONEP?
Under the instructions of the Minister of Economic Infrastructures, the immediate priorities relate mainly to the implementation of the above actions concerning the first phase of the Water for All Programme, namely enhancing the storage capacity of the District of Abidjan by the construction of two reservoirs and extending the distribution network of districts suffering from undersized or dilapidated networks. There is also the intention to enhance the production of twenty regional and departmental capitals and supply drinking water to two hundred sub-prefectures capitals not yet equipped with water supply systems.About this Content