Senegal is a partner country of Belgian cooperation. The cooperation between Belgium and Senegal started on 1 July 1968.
Senegal is a relatively stable democratic republic in West Africa, but the country remains one of the poorest in the world (166th in the Human Development Index 2009 of the UNDP).
Almost 60% of rural households live in poverty. The regions of Kaolack, Diourbel, Fatick and Kaffrine, commonly known as the groundnut basin, are among the regions most affected by poverty. This is where Belgian cooperation is concentrating its activities.
BTC is active in two important sectors: The sector of water and sanitation, on the one hand, and the sector of health, on the other hand.
Water and sanitation
Senegal has developed a national Millennium Drinking Water and Sanitation Programme (PEPAM). The objective is to reach a drinking water coverage rate of 82% on the countryside by 2015 (compared to 64% in 2004).
The action of BTC in the groundnut basin is aligned with this Senegalese programme. It aims at constructing, rehabilitating and equipping wells on the countryside as well as improving and strengthening water points. All together, not less than 84 wells will be constructed, which will be managed by 83 well users associations (ASUFOR) that reach more than 500 villages. This way, 420 000 people will, for a first time, have direct access to drinking water.
The sanitation part in the groundnut basin will lead to the construction of 100 public lavatories and 3,000 family latrines, which will contribute to improving sanitation for 30,000 people.
In the field of health care, BTC supports the Ministry of Health and Medical Prevention in implementing the National Sanitation Development Plan, in particular with regards to the underuse of the healthcare services noticed in the groundnut basin.
The objective of the actions is twofold: On the one hand, guarantee easy access to health care to the two million inhabitants of the three intervention zones. This will be done in particular through rehabilitation of the basic healthcare structures (meet standards of healthcare stations again), the extension of services supplied by the first level of reference (district hospitals) and the broadening of sickness risk coverage (health insurance).
On the other hand, Belgian-Senegalese cooperation wants to improve the quality of health care at the operational, planning and organisational levels.
These activities in the groundnut basin have to contribute to developing public healthcare strategies in other regions of the country.