Improving waste management in one of Mauritania’s tourist areas

The Mauritanian municipality of Atar is seeking to improve its waste management service - from collection to storage and sorting. With technical and financial support from the Veolia Foundation, all aspects are being examined.

Humanitarian & development

  • Location:
    Atar (Mauritania)
  • Sponsor:
    José de Graeve
  • Grant:
    €40,000 at the selection committee meeting on 16 March 2020

Project owner

Community of Atar

Located in the administrative division of Adrar, Mauritania, Atar has a population of just over 20,000. It is the gateway to Adrar, a region known for its cultural wealth, landscapes and geology. A major tourist destination, its economy has been enjoying a revival since Mauritania once again became accessible for tourists. The municipality of Atar has identified cleanliness as an important issue that needs improvement, and has made it a priority.

In fact, a household waste collection service already exists: it is operated by four teams with scooters. And ten neighbourhood committees (six of them chaired by women) are now up and running. In particular, they do the essential work of raising awareness and empowering users.

Technical and financial backing

The negative aspect is storage. Collected waste is taken out of the city to an undeveloped landfill site a few kilometres from the centre. No special facilities have been identified on-site: with the exception of the informal recovery of scrap metal and tin cans, there is no sorting or recycling.

To support the efforts of the Atar town council, the Veolia Foundation has undertaken to provide technical support. An initial needs assessment mission took place in early 2020. The entire process was examined and the pre-collection, collection and landfill phases were audited. Site visits were also organized by the town council under the leadership of the deputy mayor.

At the same time, support is being provided to equip the town with a dump truck: this will facilitate the collection process. The Veolia Foundation would like to help Atar take its waste management to another level.

Waste collection has taken on a new dimension at Atar.
Romain Duthoit
Veoliaforce Volunteer
Veoliaforce -
Training for local teams and new vehicles to collect waste