You cannot live without clean water. Unfortunately, many Beninese people still do not have access to clean drinking water today. It is therefore challenging, if not impossible, for them to practice the necessary hygiene. This lack of hygiene leads to illnesses and health problems such as diarrhoea and even typhoid fever.
The Foundation has thus given top priority to the installation of wells and essential sanitary and hygienic equipment in the fifty schools it cooperates with, in the Borgou region.
Thanks in part to the support of the Foundation, some 30 schools already have wells with drinking water. It is time now to look into the rest of the schools.
These wells not only make a big difference for the students and teachers, but also for the inhabitants of the neighbourhood. After all, they too can make use of them.
Wells in schools
Access to clean water is a profound change for schools. Teachers and students no longer have to bring their own water. There is always clean water in the handwashing systems. The canteen can prepare the food with clean water. Toilets can be cleaned. And there is enough water for the school vegetable garden.
For the villagers, too, the availability of drinking water represents a significant improvement: they can wash, cook hygienically, and they can even produce food to sell.
So many things that were not possible before. In schools that do not yet have access to drinking water, teachers and students bring their own water. Teachers tie a 25-litre container to the back of their motorcycles; students bring 0.5 or 1-litre bottles with them. This is often too little, especially in times of drought, and especially for children who cannot go home in the afternoon because they live too far away (5 to 7 km on foot).
There is not enough water to drink, let alone to wash their hands. Besides, students often bring polluted water from the river.
The installation of a well costs about 7 000 euros.
Not all schools dispose of toilets. And even if they do, the number of toilets is often too low, considering the number of students and teachers. Today they have on average three toilets for every three hundred people. In schools that do not have access to a well, it is also impossible for staff to keep the toilets clean.
The installation of a toilet block with three toilets costs about 1 000 euros.
To wash their hands, schools use tippy taps, handwashing systems made from recycled materials.
The installation of a tippy tap costs about 20 euros.
The Foundation is investing not only in facilities but also in hygiene awareness campaigns. In each school, ambassadors are trained to, under the supervision of a teacher, convince their classmates of the importance of good hygiene. They explain the importance of regular handwashing with soap and water, especially after using the toilet and before eating. They also show why it is crucial to be very careful with food and that flies, and cockroaches can transmit diseases. They use posters, songs, poems, and videos. The ambassadors regularly repeat all these actions. The effect is gradually visible. In schools that have water, students wash their hands much more spontaneously. But there is still a lot of work to be done, especially in schools where no wells have yet been installed.
An awareness kit for a school with all the materials costs about 50 euros.
In order to complete the entire project, we still need 195 000 euros over the next three years: to pay for the construction of 17 wells, 27 toilet blocks and 37 urinals, and to organise the corresponding awareness campaigns in the 50 schools.
In the short term – in 2021 – we need 60 000 euros, of which 30 000 Euros were already raised during our successful “A leg-up for Benin” campaign in December 2020.
You can still continue to support this project. Choose what you want to contribute:
Or transfer your contribution to the following account BE14 7865 8929 4683 with the mention: “Clean water + your name“.
Budget : 195 000 euro over drie jaar
Location : schools in the communes of Borgou
Sponsorship: proceeds from the December 2020 campaign: “A leg-up for Benin” + support of the Rotary Club Leuven-Rotselaar