Looking Back: The African Well Fund in Benin

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In late May, African Well Fund board members had the opportunity to visit AWF's first project in Benin, an initiative to build water pumps and latrines at schools in the commune of Bohicon. In the coming weeks, we'll be sharing stories, pictures and video from the trip, but first we look back at the project itself.

Located in West Africa, Benin is, like many of its neighbors, dependent on agricultural production. The country also benefits from substantial trade and transportation with surrounding states. This is particularly true in Bohicon, where two main highways allow for transportation from the south of Benin to the north, and connect Benin to Nigeria in the east. 

Despite this heavy traffic, the people of Bohicon have limited access to drinking water. Approximately 5 percent of the population benefits from water infrastructure. The other 95 percent must rely on cisterns, rivers and other unsanitary sources of drinking water, leading to high rates of waterborne disease and death. 

Still, Bohicon has the highest rate of secondary school enrollment in its region, with six children out of 10 attending school full-time. It's four of those schools―CEG IV, CEG Passagon, CEG Sodoho and CEG Dilly―that were the focus of this project.

Like much of the commune as a whole, Bohicon schools have little access to clean water and sanitation. Of the four schools in this project, none had a source of drinking water for students. Any drinking water had to be obtained from tanks used to collect rainwater. Only one school, CEG Dilly, had a sufficient number of latrines for its students. The others lacked both necessary sanitation as well as accompanying hand-washing stations. 

In 2011, AWF with partner Africare aimed to reduce the incidence of waterborne illness at these four schools by funding infrastructure that would help each provide clean water and sanitation to their students. 

For Bohicon IV, CEG Passagon, and CEG Dilly, water pumps were installed. CEG Sodohome had a water tank installed to facilitate the storage and hygienic use of water. Bohicon IV, CEG Sodohome and CEG Passagon also had a block of four latrines built, along with hand washing stations for each. All together over 3,000 students gained access to drinking water and latrines through the project. 

Please join us in the coming weeks as we celebrate each school we visited. It was an honor to be able to see the results of this project firsthand, and we want you―the people who made it possible―to share in it.

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This page contains a single entry by Elizabeth published on July 29, 2013 1:18 AM.

A Gift for Mom & Clean Water in One Click was the previous entry in this blog.

Benin Trip Reflection is the next entry in this blog.

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