ODIAL SOLUTIONS Group announces its purpose statement: “Africa, the source of our commitments to the planet!”
The Supervisory Board of ODIAL SOLUTIONS (SAHER, UDUMA, UDUMA MALI, VERGNET BURKINA and VERGNET HYDRO) has officially approved the group’s purpose statement. This statement, written jointly with the various stakeholders, “defines the essence of ODIAL SOLUTIONS Group, its values and its role in society, beyond its basic economic function,” Group CEO Thierry BARBOTTE explained.
Long-term orientation of the group’s strategy
Inspired by fifty years of experience and experiences, “Africa, the source of our commitments to the planet!” focuses the group’s long-term strategy on designing, building and implementing sustainable drinking water and energy solutions for rural populations in sub-Saharan Africa. Here is the full text:
“Africa, the source of our commitments to the planet! We will draw on our fifty years’ experience in supplying water and energy as we continue to work with the populations in rural and isolated areas to tackle the major challenges they face. We aim to bring everyone a future where well-being and conservation of resources can coexist. Respect, adapt, innovate.”
Sustainable consideration of social and environmental issues
This purpose statement is an invitation to all the Group’s stakeholders – employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders, partners and local areas – to take the sentiment to heart and make it happen.
By announcing its purpose statement, the group has publicly committed to making social and environmental issues a central and constant consideration when setting its strategy. This undertaking and the group’s transparency are perfectly in step with the French government’s recommendations, as set out in the PACTE Law (22 May 2019).
Solar-powered pumping in geologically and geographically challenging sites
Picture caption: Rural people drawing water from a standpipe, lately installed by ECM as part of the BORNEFONDEN project in the Région des Plateaux, similar to those which are going to be installed in the context of the current project (photo credit: ECM).
The Togolese Ministry for Water, Rural Equipment and Village Water Systems announced that it has awarded a solar-powered water supply and installation contract to the joint-venture composed of the companies VERGNET HYDRO and ECM (Lomé, Togo), aiming at providing more than 2,000 rural people from the Région des Savanes (Northern Togo) with drinking water. “The geological and geographical features of these 5 sites are challenging. Bringing drinking water to these populations, relying on solar energy, is the opportunity to demonstrate the full extent of the technical know-how of our two companies“, says Thierry BARBOTTE, Managing Director for VERGNET HYDRO.
The project consists of installing solar-powered drinking water supply systems in the villages of Nadiégou, Polougou (Tône Prefecture), Kankangbane (2 sites, including one school) and Djalière (Tandjoaré Prefecture), on particularly steep areas. “The boreholes are very deep. The pumps will be installed at the depth of between 165 and 220 meters…“, specifies Joël MENAGER, Bids and Projects Officer for VERGNET HYDRO.
To reduce the geographical marginalization in these villages
This project also has an important social dimension. Future users of these facilities today have limited access to the hydraulic equipment of their own villages, due to their geographical isolation. “The introduction of the new equipment significantly reduces the geographical marginalization in these villages while relieving the many challenges they are facing,” states Dominique GUNN, Sales Manager for ECM.
With a budget of 194 million CFA francs (€295,600), this contract falls within the framework of the PROJECT TO IMPROVE HEALTH CONDITIONS IN SCHOOL AND RURAL ENVIRONMENTS IN THE SAVANES REGION (PASSCO) led and funded by the FRENCH DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (AFD). “All the equipment will be installed and functional in September 2019”, concludes Gwenolé LE LAGADEC, Business Manager for VERGNET HYDRO.
A first experience in the treatment of surface waters
The Ministry for Energy and Hydraulics in the Republic of Guinea just announced the awarding of the supply and installation contract to the joint venture composed of ALTECH SAFS (Liège, Belgium) and VERGNET HYDRO (subsidiary of the ODIAL SOLUTIONS Group, Orléans, France) for the construction of drinking water supply systems for 60,000 villagers belonging to 120 remote rural communities spread in the 8 Guinean administrative regions. The 120 sites will be operating by July 2021. “This project is the first experience of VERGNET HYDRO, historical player for groundwater pumping and small water piping in Sub-Saharan Africa, in the surface waters valorization”, says enthusiastically Thierry BARBOTTE, Managing Director for VERGNET HYDRO.
Why treat surface water (village wells, rivers, marshes, etc.) instead of exploiting groundwater, which requires less treatment? Simply because the possibility of drilling on each of these 120 sites has already been rejected. “Either these villages are inaccessible to the equipment that would allow drilling, because they are very remote and their access roads are too complex, or their hydrogeological conditions do not allow satisfactory drilling boreholes“, specifies Baptiste GADENNE, business manager for VERGNET HYDRO.
120 HYDROPUR treatment units
HYDROPUR treatment units, designed and manufactured by ALTECH SAFS, will be set up at each of the 120 sites to treat these surface waters. 20 of which are already in operation in Guinea. The HYDROPUR installations occupy about 20 m² and combine the techniques of treatment by coagulation, flocculation, disinfection by bleach, then filtration on sand and activated carbon. Each unit can treat 1 to 2 m3 per hour, i.e. supply water up to 250 to 1000 people. “The main advantages of a HYDROPUR station are the autonomy, because the treatment is done gravitarily, its robustness, because its structure is in stainless steel, and its simplicity of maintenance“, adds Claude LOMBART, ALTECH SAFS Board Member.
In this project, VERGNET HYDRO identifies, designs and equips the surface water catchment points, locates the HYDROPUR units, organizes the logistical access modalities to the sites for all the equipment, sets up the devices for fetching water to the stations (pumping, piping, solar energy, etc.), and coordinates the construction of the HYDROPUR installation platform. “Taken into consideration the remoteness of the sites and the water quantities expected on each of them (average of 8 m3 to 10m³ per day), we have agreed to systematically convey surface water to the stations by solar pumping“, explains Joël MENAGER, Project Manager at VERGNET HYDRO.
A network of mechanics and After-Sales Service shops
Final site selection is scheduled for early July 2018. Whatever the site, the first priority is to establish the water catchment and treatment points. “Before identifying the technical features of each site (topography, geology, hydrology, position of villages in relation to water sources, in order not to disturb farming and/or forest areas, etc.), we will of course go into contact with the populations to integrate their expectations and habits. The social intermediation phase will be determining for the success of such a project calls“, summarizes Baptiste GADENNE. The works will then be carried out in partnership with the Guinean company ENTREPRISE VERGNET GUINEE (Kindia, Republic of Guinea), historic local partner of VERGNET HYDRO, and with the support of National Agency of Hydraulics (Ministry of Energy and Hydraulics of the Republic of Guinea), delegated project manager for this project.
To ensure the durability of the installations, the joint venture will set up a network of repairers and after-sales services shops, similar to the VERGNET HYDRO product after-sales service model. The associations of users of these water points will be able to count on the skills of local repairers, trained ad certified to ensure the maintenance and repairs of their installations: renewal of treatment consumables, equipment maintenance, etc. The project therefore includes a substantial training component for these repairers. “The proximity and the qualification of these craftsmen repairers guarantee a reactive and effective after-sales service”, emphasises Adama DIALLO, General Manager of ENTREPRISE VERGNET GUINEE.
The transfer of the HYDROPUR technology
The “training” component of the project also includes the structuring of user associations into Water Utility Management Units (UGSPE). Villagers will be trained in the routine maintenance of a HYDROPUR and accompanied in the organization of this collegial and regular management. “Basically, this project aims to transfer HYDROPUR technology to Guinea. Not only we are going to train local technicians in the installation and management of HYDROPUR, but we will also gradually implement in Guinea the production of all parts for drinking water treatment plants“, states Claude LOMBART.
The project is financed by an interest-free loan from the Belgian government to the Guinean government. It will last 5 years and will include a first phase of installation of all 120 sites (3 years) and a second phase of site monitoring (over 2 years), knowing that the Belgian development agency ENABEL will follow the project and carry out a general mid-term evaluation. “The timetable is ambitious because we have to deal with the uniqueness of each of the sites, the rainy seasons, the distances between villages, etc.”, concludes Thierry BARBOTTE.
Drinking water, environnement, Events, Gestion, Pompes à motricité humaine, Services de l’eau, Uncategorized, Water supply systems
ODIAL SOLUTIONS reveals its strategy and strengthens its African partners network
Picture caption: photograph of the participants in the PARTNERSHIP DAYS 2017.
The ODIAL SOLUTIONS group receives 10 heads of partner companies from 10 subsaharian countries, from the 28th to the 30th of September in its headquarters (Ingré, France). “Although 17 of our African partners have not been able to join us because they did not receive their visas, for incomprehensible reasons, this event, full of brainstorming sessions, information sessions and cultural trips, is the opportunity to strengthen our powerful and active network and to introduce to our partners the strategy of the group, the activities of our new subsidiary UDUMA and our commitment to the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) principles of the UNITED NATIONS GLOBAL COMPACT”, specifies Thierry BARBOTTE, ODIAL SOLUTIONS CEO.
Today, the majority of the countries facing a low rate of access to drinking water are in Sub-Sahara Africa. To be precise, 400 million of rural people do not have any access to safe water in this region. However, the share of the overseas development assistance dedicated to water and sanitation in Africa is decreasing ever since 2013. It was even reduced by half between 2013 and 2015. “It is now 10 times lower than the necessary amount for achieving the Goal 6 (“Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the UNITED NATIONS, adopted by the world leaders in September 2015.”
A new funding model to ensure access to drinking water in Sub-Sahara Africa
“We are therefore obliged to invent a new funding model to ensure access to drinking water in Sub-Sahara Africa. Our new subsidiary UDUMA explores a revolutionary model”. On behalf of the local authorities and communities, UDUMA rehabilitates, operates and manages public manual pumps, which are often the only source of clean drinking water. UDUMA equips the pumps with water meters and data loggers. UDUMA guarantees a continuous water service with a 72-hour max downtime, at an affordable tariff.
“In practice, in a village which choses to delegate its drinking water supply service to UDUMA, each inhabitant has an e-card which enables them to buy, from certified pump operators, quantities of water they need. These cards are credited in dedicated kiosks or online.” An original model which is taking shape. Indeed, the young company UDUMA has launched its first Public Private Partnership, Wednesday the 20th of September 2017 in Bamako. UDUMA vies to provide 560.000 people in rural Mali (1,400 manual pumps, SIKASSO Region) with drinking water for the next 15 years.
Its will to extend its CSR policy
Yet it must be noted that this event is the opportunity for the ODIAL SOLUTIONS group to officially announce its will to extend its CSR policy and to involve all its subsidiaries in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). “VERGNET HYDRO has been a member of the UNITED NATIONS GLOBAL COMPACT for 7 years now. From now on, the ODIAL SOLUTIONS group and all its subsidiaries vie to respect the GLOBAL COMPACT’s 10 principles linked to the respect of human rights, international labor rights, environmental rights and anti-corruption.”
To know more:
The event in pictures
Drinking water, Events, International, Pompes à motricité humaine, Services de l’eau, Uncategorized, Water supply systems
ODIAL SOLUTIONS and VEOLIA launch a comprehensive drinking water and electricity supply offer for people in urban and rural Africa
Picture caption: Thierry BARBOTTE, CEO of the ODIAL SOLUTIONS Group, and Martine VULLIERME, VEOLIA Senior Vice President Africa/Middle East, interviewed at the SIWI SOFA « Supplying urban/rural areas with water and electricity simultaneously » (WORLD WATER WEEK 2017, Stockholm).
« Today, we are launching a comprehensive VEOLIA / ODIAL SOLUTIONS drinking water and electricity offer for urban and rural African populations » announced Thierry BARBOTTE, CEO of the ODIAL SOLUTIONS Group (holding of the companies VERGNET HYDRO and UDUMA), at WORLD WATER WEEK 2017 (27 August to 1 September in Stockholm). « Our joint participation in this event is a very clear call to the major international donors [the World Bank, the African Development Bank, etc.] and the water and energy policy makers to support this novel approach » continued Martine VULLIERME, VEOLIA Senior Vice President Africa / Middle East.
As things stand 60 million people in urban areas and 400 million in rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to safe drinking water. And although one person in three in cities has electricity, only one person in six in rural areas does. This imbalance between urban and rural areas in particular results in an unchecked rural exodus, which causes economic, social and health problems. « We want to make donors and governments aware of the principle of equal access to essential services for everyone », said Martine VULLIERME.
To compensate for the urban/rural territorial divide
Prices per litre of water and per kilowatt-hour are naturally higher in rural areas than in urban areas. Unlike an urban project concentrated on one site, a water or electricity supply project covering a rural area is a combination of a number of individual small-scale projects located at a distance from each other. The isolation of rural water and electricity points also makes management and maintenance more costly. They therefore tend to deteriorate more rapidly.
« The new comprehensive VEOLIA / ODIAL SOLUTIONS project is designed to compensate for this territorial divide by promoting water and electricity projects covering both urban and rural areas », explained Thierry BARBOTTE enthusiastically. The combination makes it possible to equalize prices between areas. Although the model requires a small financial effort to be made by the urban areas, it makes the cost of a litre of water and a kilowatt-hour far more accessible for people in rural areas.
VEOLIA and ODIAL SOLUTIONS’ joint program marks the total commitment of the two groups to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the leaders of all the United Nations member states in September 2015. More specifically, it meets the clean water and sanitation goal (SDG 6), the affordable and clean energy goal (SDG 7) and the partnerships for the goals (SDG 17).
In 2016 VEOLIA and ODIAL SOLUTIONS completed a joint project in Niger for 128 small-scale drinking water networks equipped with solar pumps.
VERGNET HYDRO and AFRIDEV MATI: First project of solar-powered water supply networks in Mozambique
“VERGNET HYDRO has just concluded its first project in Mozambique to provide solar-powered water supply networks in rural areas”, says Thierry BARBOTTE, CEO of VERGNET HYDRO. 10,000 rural people now have continuous access to clean and safe water thanks to this advanced technology. “I feel very pleased to be more and more active in this country and to reinforce our promising partnership with the local company AFRIDEV MATI [Maputo, Mozambique].”
Joël MENAGER, R&D technician at VERGNET HYDRO, helped to complete this project by providing an extensive quality control of the equipment which took nearly two weeks, ending June 9th. This procedure was required because AFRIDEV MATI didn’t have the technical experience of that kind of projects with VERGNET HYDRO yet. It was even more required that the project includes, among the nine tanks, the first VERGNET HYDRO On Fill Water Tank (OFWT) set up in Mozambique (seven-meter high and 32,000-liter tank).
All in all, nine drinking water supply networks have been set up in this project, in less than a year. The nine villages taking advantage of these water networks are located in the Gaza province; they are Buiela, Chidulo, Chissapa, Chizumbane, Mapai Ngala, Mapanhe, Muzamane, Pfukwe and Tchale. This 640,000-euro project was completely funded by the Belgian Cooperation.
“We have chosen to maintain a close partnership in this project”, states Romain DUBREUIL, the Prospection Manager of VERGNET HYDRO. VERGNET HYDRO and AFRIDEV MATI have recently signed a contract which maintains the close cooperation between them. VERGNET HYDRO has the responsibility to manage the project, performs the initial technical studies and supplies the equipment. AFRIDEV MATI is then responsible for the construction of the infrastructure at the various locations.
The partnership between VERGNET HYDRO and AFRIDEV MATI is based on a win-win relationship
The main water lines used in this project were manufactured in Mozambique. “We try to involve local SMEs in our businesses as much as possible”, Thierry BARBOTTE asserts. VERGNET HYDRO has clearly supported the growth of the young SME AFRIDEV MATI up to now. “Thanks to our partnership with VERGNET HYDRO, we have indeed been able to hire six new employees”, reports Dario AMADE, Managing Director of AFRIDEV MATI.
The partnership between VERGNET HYDRO and AFRIDEV MATI is based on a win-win relationship. “For example, we have just won a new business for five new drinking water supply networks in the province of Gaza [8,300 rural people]. The final work acceptance is scheduled for December 2017 “, Romain DUBREUIL declares.
Vergnet Burkina was present at the la Fabrique-BF.com’ thematic day event
La Fabrique is the first business incubator in Burkina Faso to help young, innovative, social and responsible companies.
Vergnet Burkina whose activity has a strong social effect (water supply in rural areas, drinking water supply network building and human-operated pumps manufacturing) has been invited on 16th Feb. 2017 to the day: “let’s innovate to give access to water in Burkina Faso“.
This event, co-organized by La Fabrique, the foundation 2iE, the Foundation Antenna and the International Organization of La Francophonie gave the opportunity to show it is possible to propose major innovations for the good governance of water and for the sustainable supply of drinking water to the people living in cities as well as for those living in villages.
During this event, Vergnet Burkina introduced its E-Pump, a pump equipped with a meter and a data logger as well as new monitoring tools based on fintechs and communications tools.
These innovations aim at meeting the target 6.1 of ODD: Ensure access to water and sanitation for all.
Vergnet Hydro at World Water Week in Stockholm
For several years Vergnet Hydro has been participating in the World Water Week (WWW) in Stockholm, organised by SIWI.
This year it will be held from the 28 of August to the 2nd of September in 2016 at Stockholm City Conference Center.
Thierry Barbotte, Vergnet Hydro’s Managing director will be attending from the 30 of August to the 1st of September.
On September 1st, he will be attending a workshop.
Vergnet Hydro is very involved in drinking water concerns and often participates in events to alert on drinking water issues, particularly in rural areas.
Topic of this year is “Water for Sustainable Growth”.
Discover the programme of the week here
You can register here
Do not hesitate to contact us : Click here