Improving water and sanitation


Impact Area

  • Communities
  • Community engagement
  • Compliance
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Gender balance & diversity
  • Individuals & Families
  • Nutrition
  • Planet
  • Rural development
  • Water
Sep 18, 2012, updated September 2012
Nestlé along with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Côte d’Ivoire launched a local programme to improve hygiene and sanitation facilities in schools and communities of cocoa and coffee production areas of Divo, Lakota, Guitry Gagnoa, Soubré and Aboisso of Côte d’Ivoire. The programme aims to improve health and hygiene among schoolchildren, teachers and communities through water and sanitation projects, including the rehabilitation of existing infrastructure and public awareness campaigns.

Programme description

Teachers are trained on hygiene and sanitation aspects and meet in designated clubs to exchange knowledge and experiences. They disseminate the information to children in lessons and through school campaigns, helping to render schools more attractive to children. The programme also shares knowledge on how to prevent diarrhoeal diseases, currently the world’s second leading cause of death in children under five.

An earlier phase of this project consisted of construction of toilets in public areas such as schools, market places, bus stations, and areas aimed to benefit the entire community and importantly, prevent the spread of diseases. It also included the rehabilitation of boreholes and the installation of water pumps in villages where water is scarce.

Value to Society

The programme approach is participatory, with communities included in the process of monitoring and the evaluation of outcomes. Nestlé helps the Red Cross to work with communities to scale up sanitation activities, enabling them to become self-sufficient, without support from either Nestlé or the Red Cross. Toilets and pumps built through the initiative are initially maintained by the Red Cross Society of Côte d’Ivoire, which ensure that trained mechanics or community groups take over long-term maintenance. Regular meetings are held at local, regional and national levels, where stakeholders can meet to discuss results and seek recommendations. As a result, women, children and minority groups are equally involved in the decision-making process.

Between 2007 and 2013, 196,546 people from 132 villages and 81 schools have benefitted from this project. Between 2010 and 2013 alone, 54 school latrines were constructed or rehabilitated, 4,631 new community latrines were constructed, and 88 water points were repaired/rehabilitated. Additionally, 105,088 community members and 58,057 children received hygiene awareness training.