Ivory Coast

More than 75 per cent of the population of Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) do not have access to proper sanitation.

Up to a third of people in rural areas do not have safe, clean water to drink, so water-borne diseases are rife. More than half of all schools have no toilet or water point. Ivory Coast remains one of the poorest countries in the world: about 40 per cent of its population live below the poverty line.

Region

Bounkani region, which comprises Tehini, Doropo and Bouna districts

Who’s being helped

The majority of our partner’s work in Ivory Coast is focused on 80+ villages in three districts in the north-east of the country.

The project

Working closely with communities, MAP International has undertaken an education drive to inform local people about the link between sanitation and health. To improve people’s access to clean water, villagers have been trained and encouraged to set up water management committees: the members take responsibility for the maintenance of facilities such as newly-repaired water pumps. In addition, people have been trained to build latrines and radio broadcasts have been used to share information about hand washing and other hygiene principles. The ultimate goal is for all 80 villages to be declared ‘open defecation free’.

Changing lives

Kambiri is a 67-year-old cashew farmer in a small village called Talo in the north-east of Ivory Coast. Before MAP international came to Talo, there were no toilets and people had to relieve themselves in the open. This exposed them to the risk of snake bites and contaminated their farmland.

But, as Kambiri explains, people’s behaviour and attitudes have ‘radically changed’ since MAP International encouraged them and trained them to improve their environment. ‘Now we build our own latrines, our children are less sick and our village has a good smell. We can enjoy fruits and vegetables from our family gardens that are no longer contaminated. We wash our hands regularly after farming or before eating. Talo is now a beautiful village. We are happy to host visitors with great pride.’

(Sources: Unicef; WHO, Tearfund)