Emmaus International

On 3 July, Special Envoy of the French President for the Protection of the Planet Nicolas Hulot visited the facilities of the So-Tchanhoué site on Lake Nokoué, in Benin.

While accompanying the French President on an official visit to Benin, Nicolas Hulot accepted our invitation to use that opportunity to find out about the programme Emmaus has been running on Lake Nokoué the past 10 years.

On 3 July he travelled to the So-Tchanhoué site and took a tour of its pumping station, water tower and community taps. "He asked a number of questions about the sociological conditions on the Lake, expressing concern about population growth – which is high - and the calibration of the facilities that will be required in 10 years’ time, compliance with WHO distribution standards, the prevalence of waterborne diseases, the role of women in developing the project, etc", said Jean Rousseau, President of Emmaus International, who accompanied Mr Hulot throughout his visit.

Nicolas Hulot took particular interest in the water-sanitation link developed by the programme, which allows it to have an impact on health as well as the environment. The Special Envoy for the Protection of the Planet also welcomed the decision to use the plant-based purification method for the wastewater treatment facility. Lastly, he suggested using solar energy in future, when the time comes to replace the generators.

This meeting was an opportunity for Emmaus International to illustrate how some of the most excluded people are capable of working together to reclaim a common good: water and sanitation. That claim will also be taken to the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21, which is due to take place in Paris in December 2015.


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