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Cablegate: Guinea-Bissau: Water and Sanitation

VZCZCXRO5295
PP RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHDK #2441 2840746
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 110746Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY DAKAR
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6531
INFO RUEHLMC/MCC WASHDC
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 0206
RUEHLI/AMEMBASSY LISBON 0755
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0771

UNCLAS DAKAR 002441

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR OES/PCI, EB/IFD/ODF, AF/EPS AND AF/W
AID/W FOR AFR AND AFR/WA
USDOC FOR 4510/OA/PMICHELINI, AROBINSON-MORGAN/KBOYD
USDOC FOR 3131/CS/ANESA/OIO/GLOOSE/GLITMAN/MSTAUNTON
ACCRA FOR USAID/WA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV ECON EAGR EINV SOCI PU
SUBJECT: GUINEA-BISSAU: WATER AND SANITATION

REF: STATE 128599

1. In general, Guinea-Bissau has little in terms of water drainage,
sewage canalization or treatment, or waste management. Although
there exists a bountiful water table, the country lacks adequate
infrastructure to efficiently access it. When Bissau's Director of
Urban Planning, Alfredo Antonio da Silva, was asked what his office
needed most, he replied, "Maps." The aerial maps on which
infrastructure projects are based date back to 1986. During the
past 20 years, there have been different migrations -- before,
during, and after the civil war -- with many people having returned
to Bissau to reconstruct homes often without registration or
permits. These migrations have led to people building anywhere,
without organized parceling, permits, or building codes. The
general lack of building organization is a major cause of flooding,
fires, and disease outbreaks. Up-to-date aerial maps would allow
the city government to better design infrastructure projects and to
manage their registration system.

2. Dutch NGO SNV ended a project in 1994 that improved Bissau's
parceling system and installed a new drainage system in 10-15 new
areas outside of the old city. Approximately 7,000 city dwellers
relocated into new homes in the areas, built with materials provided
in-kind by GOGB. However, the rest of the city is still largely
without drainage. Although there are a few colonial era gutters on
a few streets downtown, they fill up with trash and contribute to
the street floods that cause frequent cholera outbreaks.
Guinea-Bissau's residents for the most part have septic tanks or
outhouses. No sewage system exists.

3. Celina Tavares Monteiro, the Vice President of Bissau's city
council, cites trash as the main sanitation problem in the urban
areas. The current landfill in Mantula is close to overflowing and
floods often, and there are not enough trucks or funds to collect
all of the city's garbage. The city council is conducting a
feasibility study to locate a new landfill site, to create a
recycling center, to place trash bins strategically around the city,
and to implement a new, graded, fee based trash removal service.
They need new trucks, truck repairs and more drivers. The city
government manages trash collection and disposal with its own budget
funded by property, gas and sales taxes collected from local
businesses. They receive no federal financing and have an annual
budget of approximately 1.1 billion CFAF (USD 2.2 million) with most
revenues coming from land sales and business taxes.

JACKSON

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