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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  2015  /  December 2015  /  AfriWatSan project launched in Dakar

AfriWatSan project launched in Dakar

Richard Taylor leads capacity strengthening initiative

AfriWatSan project launched in Dakar

AfriWatSan, a new 5-year research and capacity-strengthening project, which seeks to sustain low-cost, on-site water supplies and sanitation systems in urban Africa, was launched last week in Dakar, Sénégal.

The project, funded under Africa Capacity Building Initiative of The Royal Society and UK government’s Department for International Development, is led by Professor Richard Taylor (UCL Geography), and involves scientists from Université Cheikh Anta Diop (Sénégal), University of Nairobi (Kenya) and Makerere University (Uganda).

The AfriWatSan project recognises that pursuit of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (6.1 & 6.2), of universal and equitable access to safe water and sanitation in African cities, depends on conjunctive use of the subsurface as both a supply of potable water and store of faecal waste.

AfriWatSan is one of the first multi-scale (town – city – mega-city) analyses of urban groundwater and sanitation and their links to human health in Sub-Saharan Africa. It aims to provide the scientific evidence, policies and practices to sustain the quality and quantity of groundwater abstracted for urban water supplies, and to reconcile this with use of the subsurface for low-cost sanitation.

The AfriWatSan launch was attended by the British Ambassador to Sénégal, as well as representatives from key stakeholders, including the Director of DGPRE (Direction de la Gestion et de la Planification des Ressources en Eau),  Ministère de l'Hydraulique et de l'Assainissement, Service National d'Hygiène, Sénégalaise des Eaux (SDE) and Université Ceikh Anta Diop.

AfriWatSan contributes directly to UCL 2034, providing academic leadership and integrating research and education in tackling the challenges of Global Health and Sustainable Cities.

See: AfriWatSan Flyer

Photo: AfriWatSan team visiting Lac de Guiers - a surface reservoir fed by the Senegal River 240 km north of Dakar that contributes 53% of the city's water supply; the rest comes from groundwater.

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