Emmaus International

Villagers at Kinto celebrated the arrival of drinking water on 7th March with the inauguration of the water supply network. 90,000 people around Lake Nokoué now have access to water as a result of the pilot project Emmaus International has been running there since 2006.

Emmaus International and local organisation Emmaus Pahou have been developing the programme for water and sanitation access on Lake Nokoué in southern Benin since 2006.
On 7th March, the facilities at the last of the programme’s nine sites were unveiled in the village of Kinto. The groundwater was harder to find there than at the programme’s other sites, which is why it was the last to reach completion. Urged on by locals, particularly women who would otherwise have to travel miles to find water, new expertise was called on to locate freshwater sources.

150317 Inauguration Kinto 3

Representatives of local and European authorities, the programme’s backers, French and Beninese Emmaus organisations, representatives of Emmaus International and people living around Lake Nokoué were all there for the unveiling. People speakers at the event emphasized the “quality of the programme”, “involvement of each and everyone”, “the importance of sharing and solidarity” and “the role of women”. Activities and shows were put on by locals to promote hygiene and sanitation and to change hygiene behaviour – steps which the programme is to tackle next.

150317 Inauguration Kinto 1

The example of Kinto shows how vital it is for the local population to be at the centre of the programme's decision-making. Without the local people, we would never have found the water sources that now supply the network. That’s why, during the development of the facilities, a water users' organisations was set up and supported as part of the programme. It’s enabling the local population to manage this natural resource and its infrastructure and to play its part alongside the local authorities.

Until the programme reaches completion, the aim is to continue educating the local population about good hygiene and to focus on capacity building for the water users' organisation – this will be crucial to ensuring both the programme’s success and that it stands the test of time. 


To find out more about the Nokoué programme
To find out more about the right to water