Impressions from the field: Successful EU-WOP collaboration between ONEE and ONAS on improving sanitation in Dakar

GWOPA, jointly with UN-Habitat Senegal Country Office, conducted a monitoring mission of the EU-WOP project, titled “RC-ONAS-21 Strengthening the capacities of ONAS in Senegal”, between the National Office of Electricity and Drinking Water (ONEE), Morocco and the Office National de l´Assainissement du Senegal (National Sanitation Office of Senegal – ONAS) from 11 to 15 December 2023. The partnership resulting from the EU-WOP project has shown significant outcomes.

ONAS is the primary sanitation service provider for Senegal, with its headquarters in Dakar. Despite making some progress in recent years, the operator, which was established in 1996, is facing several challenges in keeping up with the rapid urban development of Dakar, the capital city, and the expansion of secondary cities in the country.

In Dakar, previous projects funded by the donor community have contributed to the rehabilitation and development of the sanitation infrastructure, including state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plants using methane gas as a power source for the plants themselves and wastewater reuse for irrigation or by-products as fertilisers. Some of the treatment plants are also equipped with septic tanks’ faecal sludge collectors, brought to the plants by a fleet of small private operators, which are rapidly exceeding the decantation basins’ capacity.


Trucks from small private operators downloading faecal sludge

GWOPA/UN-Habitat was welcomed by Mr. Bamba Fall, WOP focal point for ONAS and Director of Human Resources, and Mr. Abderrafi Mardi, Director of IEA at ONEE. Following the EU-WOP project, the partnership between ONEE  and ONAS focuses on quality assurance processes, including developing an internal reference system inspired by ISO standard 9001 and improving procedures for quality audits of sub-contractors.

(From the left) Mr. Abderrafi Mardi, ONEE, Ms. Anne Bousquet, GWOPA/UN-Habitat, Mr. Mamadou Mamour Diallo, ONAS Director and Mr. Bamba Fall, Human Resources Director ONAS

Currently, the EU-WOP project implementation is halfway through, and the teams have made significant progress in developing a comprehensive job and competency framework. The terms of reference for audits of sub-contractors have been developed, and ONAS technicians have been fully trained on network inspection with video cameras (with equipment to be purchased in early 2024). This will significantly enhance the safety and security of workers while performing routine inspections of the network.

Further, the project will assist ONAS in developing terms of reference for the delegated management of sanitation infrastructure and installations. Several technical training sessions will be conducted to enhance the capacity of ONAS’s staff, focusing on diagnosing, supervising, and managing sewerage networks. Apart from the technical support, the project will also address the crucial aspect of human resources management.

Training on job and competency framework development by Mr. Abderrafi Mardi from ONEE

During the field visit, the UN-Habitat delegation was warmly received by the ONAS’s Managing Director, Mr. Mamadou Mamour Diallo, who expressed his full support for the EU-WOP project. Additionally, the UN-Habitat team had the opportunity to expand partnership opportunities with the European Union delegation in Senegal, as well as other donors such as the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Islamic Development Bank.

Technical visit of new wastewater treatment plant Cambarene, Dakar


Reuse of treated wastewater for agricultural purposes


Methane reservoir to produce electricity