A. Title: Promotion of SODIS and Water Treatment at the household level in Benin

B. Original Title: Sodis Benin 13-15 H, 1111.14.1.2

C. Country: Benin

D. Introduction: Access to clean, safe drinking water is still a problem in the project region of northern Bénin. Children regularly suffer from diarrheal diseases and child mortality is higher than the national average. HELVETAS is active building an improved water infrastructure in this region. However, not every village has the conditions required for the construction of wells or to improve existing wells. In order to offer alternatives in these areas, water treatment methods at the household level should be introduced.

Approach: Just as it has in other countries, Helvetas introduced the SODIS-Method in Benin in 2011. This method makes water disinfection possible at the household level. Transparent PET bottles are filled with dirty water and placed in direct sunlight for, at least, six hours. The UV rays kill the pathogenic organisms in the water. Helvetas also introduced two other methods: chlorination and the boiling of water. Emphasis was placed on promoting hygiene education, particularly, hand washing. Helvetas works closely with the community and health centres in the area. Local health personnel and health promoters work with the people living in the communities to teach them these methods. Helvetas also ensures that local small businesses are able to supply PET bottles and chlorine tablets. Through working with the local governments and official specialists, the work of Helvetas has been brought to the national level.

E. Project Goal: To improve and raise the quality of life of the local population through improvements in drinking water.

F. Anticipated Results: To improve access of the local population to clean drinking water through teaching about the SODIS-Method and other water disinfection methods at the household level. Dissemination of the SODIS-Method in schools and health centres in the project ara. Recognition of the SODIS-Method and other water disinfection methods by households.

This Project has brought access to safe drinking water to 66000 people in 4000 households, 38 schools and 10 health centres. Information about at least two of these methods have been adopted by the local government and published in their water and health brochures.

G. Risks and Challenges: The greatest challenge is to introduce long lasting change in hygiene behaviour. An additional challenge is make the community realize that the responsibility for hygiene and water disinfection lies at the household level. This responsibility is often less valued than the development of water infrastructure.

H. Project Partner: Helvetas has a long relationship with the local NGO, ERAD, and works closely with them in the northern part of the country. In the south, Helevatas partners with the Drinking Water Consumers Organisation. Helvetas, particularly, works closely with the governments in both regions as they are responsible for the quality of the drinking water available for the local population.

I. Duration of the Project: 01.01.2013 – 31.12.2015

© SODIS 2019
Last update: 19.12.2014