Water Quality in Senegal
Officials say that the water quality in Senegal, a country on the west side of Africa, is improving, compared to past studies that showed a lack of access to drinking water and higher levels of contaminants.

A 2015 World Bank report stated that, at the end of 2008, the access rate to drinking water in Senegal was at approximately 85% and would reach the target of 90% by 2015. These statistics come from data provided by the Millennium Drinking Water and Sanitation Program (PEPAM), which reveals slightly more optimistic numbers than that of the Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP). The JMP reported an access rate of 69% at the end of 2008 and attainment of 81% access rate in 2015.

Sanitation, however, remains the main concern for the water quality in Senegal. Estimates from PEPAM and JMP both show that access rates with respect to sanitation are lower than they should be, according to the World Bank’s report.

Access to drinking water in rural areas has seen improvement in recent years, and further data from PEPAM shows that targets will most likely exceed in this category. However, data from JMP suggests uncertainty in meeting targets regarding rural drinking water security. Regardless, improvements in this area are evident.

According to a report from the World Health Organization, the level of sanitation facility usage had improved by 52% by 2012. In addition, Senegal saw a 74% increase in the use of drinking water from improved sources, also in 2012.

The report also noted that Senegal’s government made commitments to 24 improvements for the country’s water quality. These were announced at the Sanitation and Water for All High-Level Meeting in 2014. The commitments included goals for sanitation and hygiene and included increasing financing for water quality and focusing on equity.

Past studies have shown that, in the spring of 2002, the Senegal River estuary contained high levels of bacteria. The water quality in Senegal has since seen improvements, and this area, in particular, has been found to have fewer contaminants.

The water quality in Senegal has seen several improvements over the past few years and will continue to benefit from future goals set by global organizations.

Leah Potter

Photo: Flickr