An economic planning engineer specialised in the development of value chains and rural economy, Ousmane Pouye has been working for GRET-Senegal since 2014. Since January 2017, he has been implementing the project entitled “Improving health in rural areas via an improved sanitation approach based on the local market” (ASAP) in the Tambacounda region.
What is the sanitation situation in Tambacounda and the surrounding areas?
This is one of the poorest regions in southern Senegal. The rate of access to improved sanitation is one of the lowest in the country: it is estimated that only 5.5 % of the population has access to this type of sanitation, whereas 35.6 % of households practice defecation outdoors because they have no access to toilets. This context creates a highly precarious sanitary environment, which notably affects school attendance among children.
What does the ASAP project consist of?
The main objective of the ASAP project, funded by the European Union and led in partnership with the Regional agency for development (ARD) in Tambacounda, is to sustainably improve the health and socio-economic conditions of rural populations in the Tambacounda region based on the new national strategy for rural sanitation, initiated in Senegal in 2014. The ASAP project differs from the traditional approach, which up to now was based on grants and subsidies. The innovation here is the fact that we are seeking to develop the local sanitation market in the region by supporting private operators that we accompany in the implementation of sanimarkets. We provide them with all the services they need to operate their business.
How does this project fit with the new national strategy on rural sanitation?
The new national strategy advocates for the responsibility of households in taking charge of their sanitation and the involvement of the private sector, as well as encouraging the gradual elimination of grants and subsidies to make way for an approach based on sanitation marketing. The various aspects implemented as part of the ASAP project – strengthening the capacities of stakeholders for implementation, raising awareness in households and schools on best hygiene and sanitation practices and, lastly, monitoring-evaluation and capitalisation of lessons learned – are therefore perfectly in line with the logic set out by this new strategy.