MCC/Senegal: Reducing Poverty through Country Led Growth
The $540 million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact, signed by the Governments of the United States and Senegal, aimed to reduce poverty and increase economic growth by unlocking the country’s agricultural productivity and expanding access to markets and services. The Government of Senegal implemented the five-year MCC Compact via the Millennium Challenge Account-Senegal, and was completed on September 23, 2015.
The Senegal Compact
The two primary Compact projects, Roads Rehabilitation and Irrigation and Water Resource Management, made strategic investments in the road network and essential irrigation schemes focused in the Senegal River Valley and the Casamance region. The Compact priorities were identified to align to the country’s comprehensive long-term objectives of enhancing national growth and food security.
Roads Rehabilitation Project
The Roads Rehabilitation project invested in two of Senegal’s critical transport corridors that connect major population centers and agricultural production areas: National Road #2 (RN2) and National Road #6 (RN6).
The RN2 is the northernmost road of Senegal and a strategic connector corridor from Dakar Harbor to Mauritania and Mali and to the other larger cities in Senegal. The RN2 road investment funded the rehabilitation and widening of 121 kilometers of road from Richard Toll to Ndioum that borders the irrigation areas along the Senegal River Valley, and constructed the Ndioum Bridge, which traverses an estuary of the Senegal River and links the fertile land on the Island of Morphile with the RN2 and the national road network.
The southern road improvements in the Casamance region focused on upgrading and widening 252 kilometers of the RN6 from Ziguinchor to Kounkané and rehabilitating the Kolda Bridge. The RN6 is the single primary road available for transportation of local agricultural products from Casamance to the rest of Senegal without having to travel via The Gambia and serves as an essential connector with Guinea Bissau, Guinea (Conakry), and Mali. At compact completion, 64 kilometers of the RN6 and the Kolda Bridge had been rehabilitated and the Government of Senegal has committed to completing the remaining segments, expected in 2016.
The Roads Rehabilitation Project adhered to standards of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). MCC standards also require specific environmental and social measures during the implementation of road works. Specifically, the roads project included: developing plans for community reforestation, supporting the recovery of wood from past community deforestation activities, implementing an HIV/AIDS awareness program, resettling or compensating families affected by the rehabilitation works, implementing a community-level environmental awareness program, constructing or relocating weekly markets, and constructing safety walls at schools located within 50 meters of the road.
The MCC investments in Senegal’s road network are anticipated to provide reliable, cost-effective, safe, and time-saving means of transporting local agricultural products to domestic and international markets year-round. In addition to increasing access to markets, the rehabilitated roads expect to increase access to vital community services, such as schools and hospitals.
Irrigation and Water Resource Management Project
The Irrigation and Water Resources Management aimed to improve agricultural productivity in the Senegal River Valley, Senegal’s rice production heartland, by improving the performance of the irrigation systems and securing land tenure rights in the Delta Zone and the Department of Podor (Ngalenka). The Delta investments upgraded and rehabilitated the main canal and drainage systems across 35,480 hectares in order to increase the volume of irrigable water, expand cropping intensity, and secure use of land currently at risk of abandonment due to soil salinization and insufficient flows. The Ngalenka activity aimed to increase agricultural production through the construction of a 450-hectare irrigated perimeter. MCC’s rehabilitation or construction of over 245 kilometers of canals is expected to allow farmers to expand their rice, tomato, onion and other market vegetable cultivation in the Senegal River Valley.
The accompanying land tenure activity focused on strengthening local governments’ capacity to formalize and manage land rights in the project zones, and ensuring that land allocation in these zones harmonized existing land rights and increased access to land for groups who have traditionally had limited access to land, such as women and youth. Over 10,000 plots of land, covering 15,000 hectares were incorporated into the municipal land management system.
MCC is strategically reinforcing the economic potential of Senegal through the MCC Compact investments. These investments are expected to increase household incomes for over 1.55 million Senegalese across approximately 138,000 households improving the quality of life for their families and future generations.