In 1995, the Government of Senegal initiated significant reforms in the urban water sector to improve service delivery and increase medium term storage, production and distribution of water in the capital Dakar. The reforms consisted of dissolving the state-run water company Société Nationale d’Exploitation des Eaux du Sénégal (SONEES) and creating a new asset-holding company Société Nationale des Eaux du Sénégal (SONES) that owned all the fixed assets for the government and would function as an independent sector regulator.
The program has been largely successful in improving the quality and quantity of water delivery in Dakar. The public-private partnership has been operating in Dakar since 1996, with Senegalaise des Eaux (SDE), a subsidiary of a major French water company, managing the water system under a 10 year operation and maintenance contract. The terms of the contract allow the government to fine SDE if it fails to achieve the specific performance targets. These targets include an objective later included in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, which is providing water that meets World Health Organization (WHO) quality standards.