City, Country: Uvira, Democratic Republic of Congo
French partner submitting the project description: Fondation VEOLIA
Prime Contractor: REGIDESO, public company responsible for drinking water supply in urban areas in the DRC
French partners: Fondation VEOLIA, AFD
Foreign partners: Oxfam UK, a Congolese NGO that will be selected after a call for tender
Dates of project: 2009-2018
A few words on the project…
The Congolese Ministry of Public Health (MPH), has set up a Multi Sectoral Plan for Elimination of Cholera (MSPEC), including financial and technical support of the Veolia Foundation. This joint work has formalized an integrated approach Epidemiology - Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, which is now implemented to fight against cholera in Uvira, one of the priority areas identified in the MSPEC.
Background or General project description
In 2007, epidemiological studies allowed to understand cholera propagation mechanisms in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Eight "safe havens" or "hotspots" were identified, including the city of Uvira. At present, despite the efforts made, the DRC remains one of the countries most affected by cholera world. During the period 2008-2013, it represented 8% of cases worldwide and 9% of deaths. In addition, according to the MSPEC, only 47% of the Congolese population have access to potable water.
The project Uvira has four main components:
1. The construction and rehabilitation of water infrastructure included in the master plan:
• The rehabilitation and expansion of the distribution network
• The construction of a large reservoir
• The doubling of the plant’s production capacity
• The securing of energy supply by the establishment of a micro-hydroelectric plant specifically dedicated to feeding the REGIDESO plant.
2. The community structure of users of public taps in order to ensure the proper functioning and sustainability of infrastructure. This component requires a detailed knowledge of local social-economic contexts will be supported by a Congolese NGO specialized in this field, which will be selected following a call for tenders.
3. Education, prevention and hygiene awareness, essential in the fight against cholera (and more generally concerning all water-borne diseases), which is provided by Oxfam UK, partner of Veolia foundation.
4. Finally, the project will result in a scientific impact study to quantitatively assess the impact of improved access to water for the population on the incidence of cholera and diarrheal diseases. This study was carried out by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, reference institution in epidemiology.
These four components now form a major project funded by the French Agency for Development (AFD) and the European Union and involving many partners from different backgrounds (private sector, NGOs, universities, local governments ...). REGIDESO is the prime contractor and is supported by the Veolia Foundation, which operates as an assistant project ownership. The NGO Oxfam UK, present in Uvira for many years and active in the emergency response to cholera epidemics, is the main implementing partner of the Foundation, which provides continuous ground relay.
Strengths of project
The combination of four types of actors (government authorities, donors, scientists and technical experts and field operators) provides a strategic, concerted and operational approach for effective and sustained action against cholera based on secure access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene for populations at risk.
To stimulate advocacy, the search sfor ustainable funding and to coordinate targeted actions, the Veolia Foundation and its partners have created in 2010, an international alliance of fight against cholera, Global Alliance Against Cholera (GAAC). This alliance brings together public and private actors involved in this cause (epidemiologists, operational decision-makers, academics ...).