Water supply and sanitation in Benin
This article has been written in 2007/08 and has last been updated, concerning access data, in 2011. Please feel free to further update it.Drinking water supply and sanitation in Benin has been subject to considerable progress since the 1990s, in particular in rural areas, where coverage is higher than in many other African countries, and almost all development partners follow a national demand-responsive strategy, which has been adopted in 1992. New strategies to increase water supply in rural and urban areas have been adopted in 2005 and 2006. Tariffs in urban and rural areas are usually high enough to cover the costs for operation and maintenance.However, challenges remain. A coherent institutional framework has been developed for rural areas and projects have been implemented with strong help by external donors. Responsibilities in water supply have been defined in a national strategy in 2007 and the national utility SONEB receives significant support in terms of investment and technical assistance. Sanitation receives less attention. Wastewater treatment hardly exists.In order to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) concerning water and sanitation, the Ministry of Economic and Financial Development estimates that US$80 million and US$22 million, respectively are needed per year from 2006 to 2015. For the sake of comparison, less than US$ 10m per year have been invested in water supply and sanitation in rural areas where 55% of the population of Benin lives. No figures are available on actual investments in urban areas. Most likely, investments would have to increase manifold in order to reach the MDGs.