INTERVIEW : Charles FALL, Managing Director of the National Water Company of Senegal (SONES)
What does the 9th World Water Forum mean for SONES ?
The 9th World Water Forum is an important moment in the diplomatic agenda and in the citizens' agenda, both in the global and local context. This event reflects the necessary interaction between the beneficiaries of water and sanitation services and decision-makers in the sector at local and international level. Today, the world water community is faced with multiple challenges in the governance and use of water resources. At the heart of the concerns, there is one central question: do we have the technical, financial and organizational capacities to transform our world through better attention to this vital resource? The basis for possible social, managerial and economic transformation remains above all will, before technical and financial means.
The 9th World Water Forum heralds a turning point in our relationship to the various impacts: geopolitical, social, environmental and economic. These principles can be found in our framework of public service actions for drinking water: strengthening the heritage in order to increase the production capacity and, in the end, provide well-being to the various users.
How does SONES intend to get involved in the preparation and organization of the Forum?
The involvement of SONES in the World Water Forum is part of its public service mission and the specific needs of the Executive Secretariat. Globally, our institution acts according to the agenda of the Republic. This event is a meeting point between the expressed will of the State of Senegal and the World Water Council's much appreciated support. It is a process that we have been accompanying since the beginning of the candidacy for the status of World Water and Sanitation Showcase in March 2021. This resulted in the mobilisation of the sector's expertise in the bid phase.
SONES provided technical and communication contributions. In this process, participation in the 8th World Water Forum in Brasilia was a decisive step that enabled SONES to present the roadmap for drinking water by 2035. For the 9th Forum, we are at the disposal of the Executive Secretariat, with the constancy to make our modest contribution to the work whenever necessary.
What are your main expectations of the Forum?
"Water security for peace and development", the theme of this forum, is in line with the Emerging Senegal Plan (PSE) of the President of the Republic, Mr Macky Sall. This national policy inspires the implementation of the structuring projects that are the Third Keur Momar Sarr Treatment Plant (KMS3) and the Mamelles Seawater Desalination Plant. This theme is also consistent with the study on water security by 2050 that the Ministry of Water and Sanitation is currently conducting. The context of the Covid-19 pandemic and the disparities in access to drinking water and sanitation services is favorable to take strong decisions towards the Development Goals.
It is well known: water is a priority. It is even better that it is an over-priority. Acting in this sense means understanding the political, diplomatic, economic, environmental and societal stakes of universal and equitable access. This inclusive approach engages communities and decision-makers, civil society and private sector organizations and academics. It urges an updated roadmap on financing, governance, knowledge management and technical innovations. This is the idea of a forum connected to the various stakeholder agendas.