laying of the first stone for the desalination plant in

A ceremony led by the head of state, Macky Sall, led the ceremony for the closure of the first stone on Tuesday of the country’s first seawater desalination plant, in Dakar. This facility is located in the Ouakam district and should make it possible to meet the growing demand for water in the capital and its urban area. But the project also raises concerns.

as reported from Dakar, Charlotte Idrac

In front of the monument from the African Renaissance, it is on the southern flank of one of Mamelle’s two volcanic hills that the future desalination plant will be built. The pump station and pipes will be installed below, on the beach.

An investment of approximately 137 billion CFA francs – equivalent to 210 million euros – financed by a loan from JICA, Japanese cooperation, and implemented by SONES, Senegal’s national water company. With an initial production capacity of 50,000 m3 per day, the plant should put an end to chronic deficiencies and secure the water supply.

A “complex and unprecedented” project and a “major step in the realization of the emerging Senegalese plan”, according to President Macky Sall. A project that is not unanimous: local residents, beachgoers or fishermen condemn a risk to the environment, as the salt that is absorbed will then be released into the sea. And the association SOS Littoral reminds that the site of Mamelles lighthouse is a “historical heritage”.

But after years of debates and delays, the site is officially launched. Commissioning of the facility is planned for 2025.

Reading and Listening: Senegal: Desalination plant planned on the Dakar coast continues to cause controversy

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