The Global Water Initiative (GWI) was an action-research and advocacy programme that ran from 2008-17. The project is now closed. This site is no longer being updated, but allows access to GWI outputs until 1 October 2020 when it will also close. After that date, information about the project and core GWI technical publications will continue to be available from the IIED website and Publications Library.

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Key facts

Project area: 39 villages

Basin: Sandougou

Implementation: CRS and IUCN, with support from CARITAS.

Starting point

Our 2008 study showed that wells, both modern and traditional, were the principal sources of drinking water in the project area. Inhabitants had reasonable access to wells, but struggled to draw water and faced shortages in the dry season. Only 10% of those we surveyed used improved wells. We also found that wells were used for both agricultural and domestic purposes, with no distinction, resulting in a number of hygiene and management issues.

Project achievements 

  • We worked with 39 villages, reaching a total of 11,252 people.
  • In these villages, we built and repaired wells, and established committees to manage water points and hygiene-related matters. The committees designated a specific use for each well under their responsibility (i.e. for drinking water or livestock watering). They also set up village financing structures, tailored to households' means and circumstances. For example, contributions could be determined by the number of water containers or married women the household had.
  • Village households have adopted more hygienic practices, such as using separate dispensing jugs and retention trays for each water container, to avoid cross-contamination.
  • As a result of launching community-led total sanitation in three pilot villages, which replaced a subsidised latrine programme that was not increasing sanitation cover, 99% of households now have access to a traditional latrine.
  • We established a forum, presided over by the provincial governor, to foster greater coordination between water-service stakeholders in Tambacounda and to get local policies in place.
  • Conservation areas have been marked out to reduce riverbank erosion and prevent river clogging.

Find out more:

Browse and download project reports, technical tools and articles produced by the GWI Senegal team.





Country Coordinator

Ndao Matar