Access to drinking water for all in Africa: French companies are trying to address this

Ensuring access to drinking water for the entire world’s population remains a major challenge, especially in Africa where only one in four people can get drinking water and benefit from basic sanitation. Like other companies specializing in the water and sanitation sector, the French group Véolia, which operates in about ten African countries, is trying to meet the challenge of making drinking water available in a sustainable way.

Raw water is available and often abundant in Africa. But in the face of accelerated and sometimes anarchic urbanization, the challenge remains its control, so that everyone has access to drinking water. Christophe Maquet, Head of Africa and the Middle East at Véolia: “The difficulty is that water is not necessarily available wherever the population is available. In Niger, for example, there is a great drought and a lack of access to water for most of the year, while in other countries in Africa there may be too much access to water at the same time. Everyone remembers the drought in Cape Town in South Africa in 2018, it turns out that the same year in Bouaké in the Ivory Coast there was also a severe drought and a serious lack of access to water. ”

With a partner from Ivorian, Véolia is working today to avoid water shortages in the future in Bouaké. “We are working hand in hand with the Ivorian group PFO to build a new drinking water facility for the city of Bouaké, which will make it possible, when ordered in a few months, to address this problem of access to water in a sustainable way.”

In addition to groups specializing in the supply and distribution of water in urban areas, other actors are participating in facilitating access to this important resource in rural areas. The Saher company (African company for hydraulics and renewable energy), a subsidiary of the French company Vergnet Hydro, has been operating in Côte d’Ivoire since 1994.

Saher specializes in rural hydraulics and performs government contracts. It has installed the majority of human pumps in the most remote villages in the Ivory Coast, but it is increasingly active in urban areas.

Nadim Charara, Head of Saher: “We have started activities for the supply of drinking water, ie we also install drinking water supply networks in small villages. major. Some networks work with solar pumping and recently we are also increasingly intervening at construction sites or at industrial facilities where all types of networks are installed. It can be rainwater, wastewater, etc. ”

Saher thus obtained the contract for the construction of the rainwater and fire-fighting network at the second container terminal in the Autonomous Port of Abidjan and its perimeter, which would become operational in 2023.


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