On 19 January Mr Abdoulaye Diop, Minister of the Economy and Finance, Mr Denis Castaing, Head of Agence Française de Développement's Office in Senegal, and Mr Jack Reversade, Head of the European Investment Bank's Regional Office in  Dakar, signed two loan agreements in the presence of H.E. Mr Jean-Christophe Rufin, French Ambassador in Senegal.

These loans - EUR 20m (CFAF 13.1bn) from the EIB and EUR 30m (CFAF 19.7bn) from the AFD - will finance the construction of waste treatment facilities along the Bay of Hann.

Today, many of the companies located along the Bay discharge their polluted effluents directly into the sea, untreated. Similarly, most of the domestic waste is discharged into the sea untreated. The resulting damage to the environment and the fact that there is no network of facilities for treating industrial and domestic waste has very serious effects socially (loss of use of an environment that favours leisure activities and the development of tourism), economically (loss of revenue for the local population due to the decline of leisure activities and tourism and the reduction of coastal fishing in terms of size and quality of the catches) and above all in terms of health, with the spread of infectious diseases among the local population.

The aim of the project is therefore to restore the quality of the water in the Bay of Hann on a sustainable basis, which will make it possible to both protect the marine environment and improve the health of the 55 000 or so people living along the Bay by dealing with 95% of the bacterial pollution.

In addition to these loans, in 2008 AFD also provided a EUR 2.5m grant for this project that will help to finance institutional support for the authorities in their negotiations with industrialists to persuade them to cover part of the cost of the waste treatment facilities ("polluter pays" principle). In 2008 the EIB provided additional finance of EUR 831 000 in the form of technical assistance for carrying out a tariff study and updating the Master Plan for treating Dakar's liquid waste by 2025. This support will help to improve the operational and financial performance of the National Sanitation Board (ONAS).

This is the first operation for cleaning up industrial waste in Senegal.

In addition to this project AFD and the EIB have been involved in a number of other financing operations in the water and sanitation sector and are therefore two of the main contributors to the Water and Sanitation Programme for the Millennium (PEPAM).