More than just a convenience

Agoi Ibami public toilets

Agoi Ibami Community Based Organisation (CBO) has just completed the construction of three public toilets, using funds awarded by the CERCOPAN small grants programme. According to UNICEF “lack of toilets is the cause of an estimated 2 million preventable deaths a year, mostly in children killed by a variety of dysentery-like intestinal ailments”. Human excreta is linked to the transmission of a number of infectious diseases including typhoid and cholera, and poses a serious health risk to the 10,000 people living in Agoi community where open defecation is the norm. This project follows a similar toilet construction project successfully completed by neighbouring Owai CBO in September 2012 under the same scheme.

The construction of three toilets in each of the communities is clearly not sufficient to solve a problem of this magnitude, but it’s a start. Both CBO’s are very proud of their achievements and hope their success will inspire other community groups to raise funds and follow suit. As the small grants programme was also set up as a training exercise to build the capacity of the CBO’s to conduct a needs assessment, formulate a proposal, manage a budget, submit a final report and produce an expense account, they have now also acquired the skills needed to apply to external donors and capture funds to expand this project. We are very thankful to IUCN France for funding the larger scale project that made both the training and grants possible.

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