Developing water networks in Guinea and training technicians

Having signed a cooperation agreement in 2014 with the Republic of Guinea’s Ministry of Energy and Hydraulics, the Foundation is ramping up its initiatives in Eastern Guinea. The support provided ranges from drinking water infrastructure to staff training and enables tens of thousands of Guineans to have access to a quality public service.

A French-speaking country in West Africa, over 60% of the population of the Republic of Guinea (or Guinea-Conakry) is rural (11 million inhabitants in 2013). In 2008, just over 40% of the population had access to a modern water supply point. The authorities were aware of the efforts required to reverse this situation and therefore developed a National Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Programme targeting rural areas. The programme’s end goal was to increase access to water.
 
The Ministry of Energy and Hydraulics signed a cooperation agreement with the Veolia Foundation in 2014 in order to achieve this goal. The agreement involved providing expertise, funding and training to SNAPE (National Water Supply Points Service), an agency which reports to the ministry and is tasked with developing drinking water supply for rural and semi-urban populations.
 
EDS Guinée

Solar powered water supply systems
The agreement came to fruition in March 2015 when a first water supply system was constructed in Damaro in South-East Guinea. A 35m high water tower, 10 standpipes and a solar field with 50 units were built following an evaluation visit by the Foundation. Almost 25,000 residents directly benefit from the system inaugurated on World Water Day (22 March 2015) in the presence of the minister.
 
The Foundation has continued its infrastructure development programme with its partner, EDS, in Kérouané in East Guinea. This mining region is dominated by the Simandou Mountains and is located in Upper Guinea. The area lacks hydraulic and sanitation infrastructure. In spring 2016, eight drinking water supply systems powered by solar pumps were installed in Komodou. In Sibiribaro, another sub-prefecture of Kérouané, 10 standpipes are also in use using the same supply system.
 
In 2016, working with ADED, the Foundation pledged to support two new solar powered water supply system projects in central Guinea, in the rural areas of Baro (Kouroussa prefecture) and Banko (Dabola prefecture).
 
A sustainable public service
The local districts are the contracting authorities for the public water service. They own the infrastructure and delegate management to a non-profit organisation - the Public Water Service Management Unit, approved by the prefecture, which has oversight. Private sector operators approved by SNAPE undertake the infrastructure maintenance work under the terms of contracts signed with the Public Water Service Management Units. Payment is based on the volume of water used at all the water supply points. The income generated from payment for water supply is used to cover operating costs, thus ensuring the financial sustainability of the public drinking water service.
The Foundation is going further than simply providing technical assistance as part of the quest to offer sustainable access to water. Rural and semi-urban hydraulic project management training is going to be delivered to enhance the skills of SNAPE’s staff.
 
The country’s Ministry of Energy and Hydraulics and SNAPE joined forces to give the Veolia Foundation a glowing report “for its active role in sustainably meeting the drinking water needs of rural populations by constructing water supply systems powered by solar pumps.” The glowing report is an endorsement of the sustainable approach favoured by the Foundation in all of the projects it supports.

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