A ground-breaking ceremony on 29 November marked the next phase of a port improvement project that will drive economic growth for Ziguinchor, the main economic city in southern Senegal’s Casamance region. Among the dignitaries witnessing the event were the Senegalese Minister of Fisheries and Maritime Economy, Oumar Gueye, various Ministers and the Dutch Ambassador to Senegal, Theo Peters.
Ziguinchor's new fishing port
The ceremony marked the start of construction for a new fishing port within the overall Ziguinchor port area. This is the second phase of a major rehabilitation project, within which Royal HaskoningDHV is supporting the client, ANAM (Agence National des Affaires Maritimes), in designing and supervising the works.
The city of Ziguinchor is situated 65 kilometres from the West Africa coast along the Casamance river. Shallow river depth and outdated infrastructure were limiting the port’s performance. A project funded by the Government of Senegal and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) is strengthening the port’s position and supporting regional economic growth.
Strengthen export opportunities
Roger Degla, Project Leader at Royal HaskoningDHV said: “There are four components to the project, and we are playing an important consultancy role at each stage. The initial phase was to dredge the river to allow larger ships to reach the port. The second stage, as marked by the ceremony, will create a dedicated fishing quay besides the Port of Ziguinchor.
“Next will come a full upgrade of the port area and its equipment, which will be followed by ongoing support to port operations through a port management landlord approach.”
The new fishing port is a key part of the upgrade. Previously, fishing vessels would moor at the commercial port, interrupting operations. Creating a dedicated area for fishing vessels with direct access to cold storage facilities will both boost local fishing business and free up the main port for import and export operations.
Mr Oumar Gueye at the Senegal Ministry of Fishery and Maritime Affairs said: “This area of Senegal has very strong agricultural potential. Improving the port will significantly strengthen export opportunities for local products such as rice, cashews and mangoes.”
Royal HaskoningDHV has been involved in the project since 2012 – right from project identification. The company carried out feasibility analyses, environmental and social impact assessment and supported reaching financial close.
A team of Royal HaskoningDHV experts is now responsible for project management and carrying out supporting technical studies and designs.