VERGNET BURKINA : More than 100,000 villagers now recipients of a sustainable drinking water supply service
More than 100,000 villagers recipients of a drinking water supply service
The Burkinabe Sud-Ouest region announced to be delegating to the Burkinabe company VERGNET BURKINA (11 employees, Ouagadougou, subsidiary of VERGNET HYDRO [Orléans, France]) the management of 9 drinking water supply centers, located in rural areas of the Loba and Bougouriba provinces, in the municipalities of Zambo, Guéguéré, Koper, Oronkua (Centre and Orpoune), Dissihn (Nakar), Bondigui, Iolonioro (Diassara) and Navielgané. “This new activity, launched in 2009, allows us to reach the symbolic threshold of providing 100,000 people with drinking water through the delegated management services offered by our subsidiary. The enthusiasm shown by Burkinabe local authorities lets us believe there is still enormous potential for scaling up this management activity”, states Christophe LEGER, VERGNET HYDRO Deputy Managing Director.
VERGNET BURKINA is now in charge of 29 small piped networks in Burkina Faso, located in the Sud-Ouest, Hauts-Bassins, Centre-Nord and Centre-Ouest regions. For this purpose, the Burkinabe SME has entered into Public Service Delegation (PSD) contracts with 25 municipalities. “Each one of these affermage contracts commits VERGNET BURKINA to providing a sustainable drinking water supply service to the local people over a period of 10 years, and to finance the upkeep of pumping equipment with the turnover generated from water sales by volumes (jerrycans, barrels and buckets), at a tariff commonly set with the communal authorities and validated by the municipal councils”, specifies Jean-Christophe KI, Managing Director for VERGNET BURKINA.
A network of 201 involved and skilled collaborators
Before the start of the water supply services, the municipalities hand over to the operator their small piped networks brought up to standards: inspection of water pipes and standpipes and control of the pumping equipment, water tanks and water quality. The groundwater water is pumped through fuel-powered generators (44,5% of the centers), solar units (18,5%), hybrid solar systems (18,5%) and the national electrical grid SONABEL (18,5%). “Before we start operating the water service for the villagers, it is important to prepare the equipment and to put in place the procedures to be able to monitor precisely and objectively the water quantities consumed at each standpipe. We have therefore equipped all the water points (collective standpipes, private connections) with water meters”, adds Abdoulaye SORY, Hydraulic Engineer for VERGNET BURKINA.
Water supply is about service delivery. Hence, it is heavy on human resources. VERGNET BURKINA already relies on a network of 201 collaborators (21 network managers, 9 cashiers and 171 standpipe caretakers), whom manage together the 29 rural water networks. “High quality services require involved and skilled employees. That’s why their remuneration is tied to the water volumes consumed at the standpipes on which they work. In addition, we organize regular training sessions”, explains Samuel SAWADOGO, Chief Operations Officer for VERGNET BURKINA.
A R&D project that led to the creation of the startup UDUMA
The water supply management model can also be applied on manual pumps, which represents a real innovation in the sector of rural water supply. Since 2016, as part of the UNICEF Burkina Faso Research Action Project “E-PUMP”, VERGNET BURKINA has been operating the drinking water service for 112 manual pumps: 50 in Dassa and 57 in Kyon (Centre-Ouest administrative district) and 5 in Niankorodougou (Cascades administrative district). “The results of this pilot project contributed to the creation of the company UDUMA MALI, which will soon be operating 1,400 manual pumps in Malian rural areas (Sikasso administrative district), serving 560,000 villagers”, continues Christophe LEGER.
It should be noted that the VERGNET BURKINA water supply services received two Water and Sanitation Awards (categories “research and innovation” and “water resources recovery”) at the 3rd National Forum for Water and Sanitation (Partenariat National de l’eau du Burkina Faso, PNE-BF), on 2 February 2018 in Ouagadougou, and the 1st Innovators Market Award at the National Conference on the Efficient Management of Drinking Water Services in Rural and Semi Urban Areas, on 19 October 2017 in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso).