Sanitation infrastructures, waste collection and recycling in Rufisque



In West Africa today, the urban population is growing at a rate of about 5-6%. More than 70% of the urban areas on this continent are completely excluded from the urban public service network of drinking water distribution, liquid waste drainage or household refuse collection, as a result of a lack of means at municipality or state level. In the commune of Rufisque, nine quartiers (neighbourhoods) are involved in the programme. These neighbourhoods have a concentration of 51,000 inhabitants, divided up among 5,225 households, i.e. 45% of the commune’s population; 30% of this population is illiterate. Each inhabitant produces around 0.70 kg of waste per day; total production for the nine neighbourhoods is 35 tonnes per day, and waste waters amount to 1,800 cubic meters per day. Statistics reveal that 75% of patients treated at the Diokoul community clinic suffer from diarrhoea, dysentery or dermatosis and belong mainly to young age groups. Within the scope of our programme, some actions increasingly call for contracts between grassroots groupings, municipalities and other competent institutions, which generally claim territorial rights or demand that all local initiatives be harmonised. Early collection experiences in the poorer neighbourhoods are gaining ground across the town.

It is ENDA who runs the programme. It ensures practical training for all those involved in the programme, including members of community groups and associations, and cart drivers. Management committees composed of mandated community representatives (youths, women and the elderly) and municipal, technical and health services have been established to ensure a continuous assessment, follow-up and prospective of actions.

The municipality is involved in different actions, and is represented at the meetings of each continuous assessment committee. It approves the establishment of the routes for the early collection of solid waste in the neighbourhoods involved in the programme. The committee is based in the relevant district health centre. It signs the approved contracts with those requiring private refuse collection. A contract is signed with a cart driver, who is supplied with a horse-drawn cart for which he is responsible. The cart driver ensures a door-to-door refuse collection on a determined route. The contract only requires two hours of early collection from the cart drivers, who would like such a link between employment and environment not to distort the cart driver’s vocation as road hauliers.

Around 450 households have been provided with private sanitation infrastructures, of which nearly 200 are linked to water treatment plants through a narrow drainage system. Up to 65% of demand has been met, which represents 15% of requirements. The population co-finances this equipment at a rate of about 70%; in the long run, the costs will be entirely covered by the beneficiaries. Cost recovery is ensured by the management committee, which counter signs the contracts for the beneficiaries of the sanitation infrastructures. The costs recovered by the programme are invested into a community revolving fund (savings account), which will allow other inhabitants requesting such infrastructures to benefit from the project.

The development of private sanitation has enabled us to confirm the ability of the neighbourhood representatives on the continuous assessment committee to administer the supply of work created by the construction sites. Youths from the neighbourhood have been trained by the programme and organised into several micro-enterprises working in enhancing the value of refuse (recycling, compost and urban agriculture).

The existence of a frame of reference at a local level – ENDA TM / Local Authorities / Health Committee – allows for the harmonisation of the various initiatives with the local urban management policies.

The main impacts of the PADE (Diokoul and Surroundings Sanitation Programme) are economic (job creation, increase in revenues); social (lightening women’s workload, improvement of living conditions, home economics and especially social status of participants); environmental and sanitary (fight against the spread of faecal hazards, domestic refuse and numerous illnesses); communal (reinforcement of independence of the community and citizenship of its inhabitants).

The most visible effect on urban policy is to have shown the feasibility of inhabitants taking direct charge of their own waste collection and recycling, and the construction of private sanitation infrastructures within their community. Also, the municipal authorities have recognised the validity of this alternative solution, which is particularly well-suited to the layout of poor neighbourhoods. They have accepted the need to provide incentives by exempting the collection carts from municipal taxes. The treatment of liquid waste allows the spread of a new waste management policy, which will promote a new enhanced value resource.


A central element for the launching and sustainability of development in this project is the FOCAUP (Community Fund for the Sanitation of the Poor Urban Areas). It involves several partners and enables the community to control resources.

The beneficiaries of these infrastructures contribute to their construction, in form of a reimbursement to a savings account constituting the FOCAUP, a revolving fund which will become the resource for future investments once external financing is terminated. The community hence recovers the reimbursements paid on their loans. Reimbursement capacity increases, and the writing off of debts and non-erosion of capital are ensured.

Each loan constitutes a contract signed between the beneficiary and ENDA, and is guaranteed by the Health Committee of the neighbourhood of residence of the beneficiary. This committee ensures the satisfaction of the terms of the contract. This system has allowed for the reimbursement of 93% of the credits obtained during the first phase of the programme (1990 – 1992). In September 1995 the savings account on which they are deposited amount to some 19 million FCFA (42 000 US$). This alone proves the feasibility of mobilising local savings to finance local initiatives of urban infrastructure.

These resources will grow, and should reach 30 million FCFA (close to US$70,000) by the end of Phase II of the PADE, this constituting a solid basis for the community fund, which will guarantee low-interest credits which could be granted by the bank to those in need of private sanitation structures. Here, the role of the NGO is one of training in technology, capacity-building and control, the bank having replaced it in the function of money lender.

The population is an integral participant of the management of this fund through the sovereign expression of its needs, which are registered as indicators of progress in the field of urban environment. Local fora are organised on a monthly basis for this purpose, as well as to stimulate decision-making and prospective. This approach catalyses close interactions between potential actors who offer resources, expertise and experience to the population. This process also leads to a raising of consciousness of populations in terms of their environment.

The FOCAUP does not subsidise the technical structures for the promotion and the production of urban infrastructure. It provides credit to individuals and communities in order to finance local initiatives inscribed in their communal processes of sanitation and urban environment.

Two components characterise the FOCAUP:

  • the mobilisation of savings and national, public and private resources (financial and non-financial)
  • the mechanisms allowing for the successful articulation of formal savings systems and credit to non-institutional systems. This articulation finds its dynamic in a bottom-up approach, whereby the population is linked to institutional systems. This articulation can inversely be promoted top-down , thus tending to a communal dynamic.


– 4,000 meters of narrow sewarage system
– 450 households benefit from private santitation
– 2 water and waste treatment plants built
– 3,000 households benefit from door-to-door waste collection
– 90 cubic meters of water recycled daily
– 3 tons of refuse recycled daily
– 70 jobs full-time created over 4 years
– 50 people trained in recycling
– US$40,000 in funds mobilised within the community
– 40 people participate in regional exchanges of experiences
– 1,930 participants in the programme management out of 2316 are women
– 50 out of 90 programme decision-makers are women
– 33% reduction in illnesses related to the environment over 4 years
– 1.8% increase in household income over 4 years
– 86.2% decrease in annual facilities maintenance expenditure over 4 years
– 50% reduction in costs of private sanitation infrastructures over 4 years

New Developments: The programme’s results:

Item 1995 1997
Sewage system 4000m + 2000
Individual sanitation system 450 +50
Daily rubbish collection 3000 households +750
Daily purification of liquid waste 90 m3 + 10
Rubbish collection carts 20 +5
Trained composters 50 +15
Micro-enterprises set up 1 +2
FOCAUP sum 30,000 US$ 14,000

  • purification stations, selling the compost and market gardened products, and other services, enables the Co-operatives (micro-enterprises) to buy a 2-hectare orchard on the periphery of the city. A water pump was provided by ENDA Third World so that they could extend their activities, diversify and raise their income. The women of the Co-operatives sell the products.
  • FOCAUP : from popular saving to local consultation: The FOCAUP is managed by a Administration Council made up of local urban actors, mainly from NGOs and CBOs. The institutionalisation of FOCAUP, which is underway, will enable these actors to engage in dialogue with political powers and other local actors so that consultative urban planning is enfranchised.
  • State intervention and changing scale: involvement of the State has led to the drafting of terms of reference for validation and normalisation studies that aim to determine a model for reproducing the waste water treatment project elsewhere. This is being carried out in collaboration with ONAS . The programme has been extended to Yoff, Niagua, and will shortly be introduced to This. Moreover, a further four Senegalese Communes have requested that ENDA bring the programme to them too.

Problems encountered:

The CUD’s attitude to the co-operatives (which do not benefit from any public guidance, micro-credit or subsidies)

The difficulty of integrating the programme with waste management strategies – this is still being negotiated with the CUD.

Gradually, the public authorities are realising hoe useful it would be to integrate the co-operatives activities with the existing system.

Below are some details regarding the programme up to March 2000.

Partnership, Development and mobilisation of human resources and Leadership.

Enda’s Partnership with the municipality and grassroot groups gave rise to the waste integrated management in Rufisque, at an estimated sum of 17,000,000 FCFA. The municipal authorities provided the GIEs with manpower resource for some of the sanitation operations. An agreement has just been concluded between the municipality and GIEs, concerning the delegation of authority in managing the public Sanitary Infrastructures

The Emergence of a local micro- entreprises of production and consumption

Using the project’s technical and financial support, the GIEs have constructed certain basic infrastructures within their agricultural farm area, which covers 2 hectares. Recent investments include the construction of a second well, the erection of erosion control mechanisms, (aeolian and hydraulic erosion), and livestock grazing facilities.

Meanwhile, the sale of compost prepared from rubbish collected by carts operated by the GIEs continues. The beneficiaries are in charge of maintenance and replacement of the carts. The appropriate technology initiated by ENDA, involving the processing of waste water and rubbish, gave rise to the establishment of horticultural and forestry micro-nurseries, geared towards the production of plant seedlings for sale in the neighbouring urban districts.

Problems encountered

The majority of users refuse to subscribe towards the cost of pipe replacement, attributing such responsibility to the national government authorities or municipal councils. The much-desired collaboration between the CUD(4) and GIEs in rubbish management programmes, is yet to materialise.

Lessons learned:

  • The importance of appropriate technology: for the local authorities, the low-cost, narrow-pipe sewage system proved much more cost-effective that the usual sewage system. This is particularly important when we consider than municipalities often do not have sufficient means to meet all the responsibilities that the current policy of decentralisation entrusts in them.
  • building the capacities of the popular urban economy is today a pre-condition for resolving any human settlement problems.
    With regard to water rates: it is not justifiable to ask the users of the narrow-pipe sewage system in Rufisque to pay for this service, since it is the responsibility of the programme founders to cover the maintenance of the infrastructures and the water purification. The idea of asking the public authorities to return its receipts to the project is an important one as it would (i) enhance co-operation and communication between local authorities and the project and (ii) would increase the co-operatives capacities.
  • in terms of approaching urban problems: the programme demonstrated that the solution to human settlement problems must be seen holistically. To tackle the question of sanitation, the project had to also look at issues of health and job creation and this made popular participation in management much more efficient. This entailed supporting the popular urban economy.

Incorporating the lessons into our work

These lessons have underpinned consultation between the various city actors regarding the institutionalisation of the FOCAUP. These discussions must continue and should result in coherent decisions.

The system of plot-by-plot rubbish collection by carts is becoming increasingly appreciated by residents in Urban and sub-urban areas. The large trucks operated by the CUD are irregular and, since they only evacuate rubbish from public dumps, this leads to the proliferation of savage dumping ground. In comparison to the CUD System, the use of carts is relatively less costly and even contributes towards job-creation.

The adherence of the local residents to this sanitation system is progressive. It depends of their conviction of the efficiency of the new system, rather than on their financial means.

Integration of experience learned in our activity

  • Increasing the number of carts and garbage cans, in those local districts which have expressed the need to make-up for a deficiency in the CUD truck-system.
  • Concerning the importante financial participation, it is pertinent to set up a committee of beneficiaries to run the community management for sanitation system.
  • The contact to FOCAUP, will allow to respond numerous demands by residents who want to be connected to the sewage system. This situation has been brought about by the extension of residential areas to local districts that are either poorly connected or unconnected to the sewage disposal system.

Any extension of the waste water disposal system should take all previous requests for connection into account. Beneficiaries and authorised persons should carry out regular checks, to prevent pirate connections, which do not conform to the regulations and disrupt the smooth running of the sewage disposal system. A team of GIE officials, (or any other such-like teams), comprising technicians and professionals, is indispensable for the supervision of the sewage disposal system and for providing the level of maintenance that will be in conformity with protocols to be negotiated with the users committee. The programme is being extended to Yoff, Niagua and This and the lessons from the Rufisque programme will certainly be applied.

Started: 10/90
Stopped: 09/95
Completed: 12/97