IVORY COAST: New agency to manage rural water facilities

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IVORY COAST: New agency to manage rural water facilities©Ivorian Ministry of Hydraulics

The Ivorian government is setting up a project to create the National Rural Water Agency of Ivory Coast (ANAHR_CI), whose objective by 2030 will be to guarantee universal coverage of drinking water in its geographical area of intervention, currently estimated at more than 70%.

Ivory Coast wants to improve drinking water supply in rural areas through better management of existing and future facilities. On January 24, 2022, the Ivorian Minister of Hydraulics, Laurent Tchagba, presented the project to create the National Rural Water Agency of Ivory Coast (ANAHR_CI). The public agency, which will be created soon, will guarantee the continuity of drinking water services in rural areas.

Currently, the drinking water supply service in Ivory Coast is provided only by Sodeci (Société de distribution d’eau de la Côte d’Ivoire), which replaced SAUR (Société d’aménagement urbain et rural) in September 1960. Sodeci, which is more active in urban areas, has entrusted the maintenance of rural water facilities to management committees, which are struggling to play their role fully. As a result, the facilities, particularly the human-powered pumps, regularly break down.

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“The Ivorian government spends an average of 4 billion CFA francs (about 6.1 million euros) per year to repair human-powered pumps. Once they are handed over to the management committees, they unfortunately break down again shortly afterwards, forcing the population to turn to wells and marigots, a source of water-borne diseases,” explains Laurent Tchagba, Ivorian Minister of Hydraulics. This is about 30% of the rural population according to figures unveiled at the end of 2021 by the President of the Republic of Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara.

The deployment of future ANAHR_CI agents in rural areas should thus enable the Ivorian government to make savings of around 80% on the 4 billion CFA francs spent each year on the maintenance of drinking water installations in rural areas. The Ivorian Ministry of Hydraulics is currently considering strategies for mobilizing human and financial resources for the operation of the new agency.

The ultimate goal is to guarantee universal coverage of drinking water in rural areas by 2030.

Inès Magoum

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