Boosting better sanitation and improving livelihoods in Central and West Africa

Nov 18, 2016


Boosting better sanitation and improving livelihoods in Central and West Africa

Alice Nkuegue and her children from Cameroon are only one family out of thousands of Africans who now have access to improved sanitation and clean water.

Providing better sanitation and safe water not only helps families like Alice’s to carry out day-to-day activities like cooking more easily and safely, it also helps to reduce the number of people, especially children, who get sick from waterborne diseases such as diarrhoea and typhoid. 

However, millions of Africans still lack access to good sanitation and safe water, but we’re continuously looking for ways to improve and support them.

Joint partnership

Through our work with local partners and non-governmental organisations, such as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), we’ve helped provide more than 280,000 people in Côte d’Ivoire with such facilities since 2007.

For example, Ivorian villagers in Nestlé Cocoa Plan communities now have access to improved sanitation facilities after we supported an independent initiative led by the community, together with the IFRC.

The Community led total sanitation (CLTS) initiative was introduced last year to encourage people to voluntarily improve their surrounding areas.

Working together

Gue Baya, village chief of Seidrou, Bangolo in western Côte d’Ivoire, understood the importance of the clean-up process after working with the IFRC.

The village previously only had eight toilets for 83 households, which housed 667 people in total, but Gue said the IFRC helped to encourage families to dig a hole for each household, and form small groups to buy a pack of cement to build slabs to cover the holes.

The IFRC also trained the village mason for free so people simply chose the local material they wanted to cover their toilet. 

It was so successful that the communities were recognised by the Ivorian government for their sanitation work in surrounding areas.

This partnership with the IFRC was extended to Ghana last year with an aim to reach over 90,000 people through better sanitation, water and hygiene services.

World Toilet Day

Our community projects like this highlight the importance of the annual United Nations’ World Toilet Day on November 19. 

This year, the global event focuses on ‘toilets and jobs’, spotlighting how sanitation, or the lack of it, can impact on people’s livelihoods.