Long-term access to water for the Mauritanians of Bouanze

Long-term access to water for the Mauritanians of Bouanze

Humanitarian & development

  • Location:

    Bouanzé (Mauritanie)

  • Sponsor:

    José de Graeve

  • Grant:
    €90,000 at the selection committee meeting on 04/10/2021

Project leader

Association des ressortissants de Bouanzé et de ses environs en France (Arbef)

Launched in 1987, theAssociation des ressortissants de Bouanze et de ses environs en France (Association of nationals of Bouanze and its outskirts in France - Arbef) was born from the shared will of Mauritanian expatriates anxious to help their village of origin. Located in Gidimakha, in the south of the country, Bouanze has just over 10,000 inhabitants. Several neighbouring localities come here to obtain fresh supplies, draw water, seek medical treatment and get an education.

The association wants to bring together Mauritanian nationals from Bouanze in France to support all initiatives likely to improve living conditions there. Thanks to the contributions of its members, it has enabled the creation of health centre schools, the opening of a maternity hospital and the establishment of drinking water infrastructure. But these are proving insufficient today.

In 2005, the Arbef, in partnership with a Spanish NGO, undertook a drinking water supply project (water tower and mini-distribution network). Of the 15 standpipes connected to the water tower, only two are still in working order. As a result, the population has been turning to water from wells and suffering all the health difficulties that come with it.

A diagnostic mission carried out in June 2021 enabled the audit of the infrastructure and the examination of its operating condition to explain the pressure problems observed. The resulting project, established to strengthen the production and distribution of drinking water, consists of blowing[1] the existing borehole and installing a second one; changing the pipes that make up the distribution network; installing an emergency generator; and using topographic surveys.

The renovation of infrastructure is coupled with training. It will be offered to the members of the drinking water management committee to develop their skills relating to sales, revenue management and minor maintenance of the system. Water is an essential service, so access to it must be long-term.

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[1] Cleaning operation.