The International Copper Association has already found two partners in Sénégal that are willing to participate in a slum electrification project: the utility company SENELEC and the association PROQUELEC. The latter is a member of FISUEL, whose mission is to promote electrical safety. 'We are still looking for more partners,' says Dôme, 'but I’m confident we will find them soon. The idea is to start with a pilot project from one distribution transformer. We will map how many households this transformer is supplying in reality and their electricity consumption pattern. Then we can estimate how the consumption will evolve if all the houses would have safe, legal connections, and energy efficient appliances. Based on this data, we can then design a new electricity network.' The experience and lessons learned from this first sub-Saharan African project can provide the basis for tackling the rest of the region’s urban slum zones.
In the new, normalized electricity network, it will be much easier for the utility company, in this case SENELEC, to estimate demand. This will be of great help to them in improving the reliability on the network.
The new electricity network will also facilitate the improvement of the water supply. The current manually operated wells for example, could be equipped with an electric pump, or a complete water distribution network could be installed. It will also enable people to stop burning wood or kerosene — both unsustainable and polluting fuels — for cooking and lighting.