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in Nouakchott, three whole days without tap water in a heatwave

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Mouley Massoud lives in the commune of Arafat, in the southern suburbs of Nouakchott. According to him, no one expected the outage to last three days.

All the inhabitants of the nine municipalities of the capital woke up on Tuesday September 8 with a total failure of tap water. The local authorities did not warn us. We never believed that the outage would last so long. In a scorching heat[hewasdoinguntil[ilfaisaitjusqu’a[hewasdoinguntil[ilfaisaitjusqu’a34 degrees in Nouakchott between September 8 and 10, Editor’s note]we had to go everywhere fetch water. In particular, we went to the inhabitants who had water cisterns in their homes. The price of a box of 12 bottles of water has skyrocketed from 900 to 1,300 Ouguiya [soit de 2,13 euros à 3,08 euros] during these three days. We are not used to this kind of incident here. Tap water is generally available in the capital.

On social networks, several residents wanted to alert the authorities with images of their suffering.


“ Images of the neighborhoods of Laakila, Lemghiti, Bouamatou, Tarhil Doubai, Essonna, we are looking for water for these neighborhoods whose inhabitants cannot afford a bottle of water, ” launches this Internet user asking for help for the poor neighborhoods of the capital.


“There are children who compete to catch excellence and the first ranks, but in this image, the children are racing to have a drop of water, people are thirsty, Mr. President, ” comments this Internet user in this photo posted on Facebook on September 11.


“Do you now realize the role of charities? Do you realize the importance of campaigns for the distribution of drinking water in the capital? May God help our brothers in the slums, who are suffering enormously”, writes this Internet user on this publication of September 11, in tribute to the efforts of civil society during this prolonged water blackout.

The water finally returned gradually in some municipalities of the capital from Thursday, September 10 at 4 p.m.

What origin for the water cut?

Acting Minister of Hydraulics and Sanitation Abdessalam Ould Mohamed Salah said during a press conference on September 11, 2020, that the failure was due to a failure in the electrical cable of the station that supplies the city of Nouakchott with drinking water, floods which affected the country, like others in West Africa, at the beginning of September. denied by OMVS (the Organization for the Development of the Senegal River), which denied the existence of an electrical failure on the water supply network to Mauritania.

This disagreement would reflect, according to the independent Mauritanian news site CREDIM, the existence of a conflict of interest between the ministry and the National Water Company around a project of 200 million euros obtained from the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (Fades) to secure the drinking water supply in the cities of Nouakchott and Nouadhibbou. According to the Mauritanian news site lauthentic.info, It would be the consequences of the decision taken by Naha Mint Mouknass, the former Minister of Hydraulics, who entrusted this project to his cabinet, instead of the SNDE.

Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Ghazaouani, for his part, published a tweet to express “regret” about this incident “beyond our control”, and to thank the residents of the capital for their “understanding”.

No investigation has been opened to verify the actual reasons for this water cut.

Article written by Omar Tiss.




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