Due to its geographic and climatic characteristics, access to water in Mauritania is a major and permanent challenge. Its water resources – particularly its groundwater – are largely unexploited and unequally distributed. Moreover, rapid urbanisation in Mauritania puts additional pressure on the water and sanitation sector. Mauritania’s government has signalled willingness to strengthen its water sector by improving the country’s knowledge and management of water resources and by reforming relevant institutions (e.g. the National Water Corporation (Société Nationale de Distribution d’Eau) and the National Rural Water Agency (Office National des Services d’Eau en Milieu Rural, ONSER).
Additional Support to the Water Sector in Mauritania
The World Bank’s Sectoral Water and Sanitation Project (PSEA) aims to further strengthen Mauritania’s capacity to manage its groundwater resources by helping to improve the performance of sector institutions and by increasing the population’s access to improved water and sanitation services in selected rural areas and small towns.
This project is part of the Emergency Development Programme (PDU) – an initiative called to life by the governments of the G5 Sahel countries and financially supported by the members of the Sahel Alliance. The project activities complement other Sahel Alliance members’ activities, specifically those of the French Development Agency (AFD) and the European Union (EU), in support of Pillar I of the PDU:
Pillar I: Contribute to improving the living conditions of the populations through better access to water and sanitation.
Focussing on the most vulnerable
The project activities will mainly focus on selected rural and small towns in five regions (“wilayas”) representing 71 percent of Mauritania’s rural population. These areas generally exhibit poorer results on indicators related to poverty, child mortality and access to water compared to more urban areas. In these targeted rural zones, the project will build, expand or rehabilitate water supply systems which are currently directly or indirectly operated by ONSER. The operation and maintenance of most of these water systems will be systematically transferred to local private operators under the existing public-private partnership (PPP) framework.
For more information, please download the project sheet with more details.
Fields of action