Habitat for Humanity Cote d' lvoire
Habitat's work in Cote d' lvoire
Habitat for Humanity in Côte d’Ivoire
Established in 1999, Habitat for Humanity Côte d’Ivoire (HFHCI) seeks to break the cycle of poverty by working with homeowners to provide safe, dry and secure homes, with decent sanitation.
The housing need in Côte d’Ivoire
Among the world’s largest producers and exporters of coffee and palm oil, Côte d’Ivoire once boasted the strongest economy in West Africa. Now, due to a devastating civil war and global economic pressure in 2002, the country contends with extreme poverty, and its exhausted infrastructure struggles to meet the growing needs of the people. In the city of Abidjan alone, the housing deficit is estimated to be 20,000 houses per year. Urbanization is adding to the problem, with almost half of the growing population now living in towns or cities. The cumulative deficit is estimated at than 1,000,000 units in 2012.
In rural areas, the need is also immense. Many people live in temporary structures, which require extensive upkeep and repair and are vulnerable to fire. Walls are typically made of mud in a wooden frame and often crack, causing leaks and eventually falling apart. Thatch-roof houses harbor numerous disease-carrying insects, such as malarial mosquitoes and the tsetse fly, which can spread eye disease. With so many people living in poverty, substandard housing is an overwhelming challenge. Most families live in traditional homes made of mud walls and thatch roofs or inadequately constructed brick houses. Overcrowding exists in the majority of these houses, and lack of natural light and ventilation are common problems, causing illness and other problems.
How Habitat addresses the need in Côte d’Ivoire
HFHCI builds houses using appropriate technology and local building materials. The houses are made of brick and mortar, with corrugated iron roofing sheets. The designs are simple and spacious and cater to the individual families’ needs, while remaining affordable for the homeowners. Houses consist of either two or three bedrooms and a hall. Smaller houses are currently planned, in order to reach families on the lowest income groups.
Here are some examples of Habitat projects in Côte d’Ivoire:
- Housing Orphans in Protected Environments (H.O.P.E)
This project helps protect the inheritance rights and improve the living conditions of families through housing and related support services. HFH Côte d’Ivoire together with its implementing partners provide housing and pit latrines; trainings on inheritance rights and will writing; and hygiene promotion.Through this project, HFH seek to change the attitude of community members by mobilizing community leaders, other NGOs and CBOs operating in the community to help uphold the rights of women and children.
- Healthy, decent homes for theriver blindness affected families
In the target communities, blind persons earn less than $40 per month. To survive, they are often assisted by their relatives. Families typically live in mud houses or crumbling old structures. To improve living conditions of individuals affected by river blindness, HFH Côte d’Ivoire proposes a project that targets communities in the central region. The intervention includes the construction and rehabilitation of safe and healthy houses.
- Financial education
The project aims to develop financial skills of youths and women-headed household. The training will target families struggling to make ends meet and families prepared to grow to help them to manage their revenue and to empower them to take care of their family. The training aims to empower participants with knowledge on market research, budgeting, savings and credit through a series of workshops. If necessary, local languages can be used.
- Water, sanitation and hygiene
The project will target rural communities and help promote hygiene and water points rehabilitation. HFH proposes to rehabilitate 100 water pumps per year that will increase access of an estimated 5,600 families to a safe water supply. Community members will be trained in safe water practices and a Water Committee will be formed to maintain the facility. The project will focus on areas heavily impacted by the civil war of 2002 and continued underinvestment.
Meet a Habitat family
Even with moonlight breaking through crumbling mud wallsand a shredded scrap-tin roof, Amani Yao couldn’t see therodents that scurried across his dirt floor each evening. Hedidn’t see the malaria-spreading mosquitoes either, beforethey descended to bite. The 54-year-old Ivorian has beenblind since 2004, the result of too many bites from the blackfliesthat swarm the banks of the nearby Bandama River.
More than 100 of the town’s 1,500 residents have watchedtheir vision slowly disappear because of the disease. But fiveyears ago, thanks to Habitat Cote d’Ivoire’s “Healthy Homes”initiative, light returned to Amani’s life. That’s when Amani, Vincent and five other relatives moved out of the darkness ofa cramped, windowless home and into a house with a concretefloor, sun-soaked windows and secure doors. To Amani,it’s more than a safe, comfortable place to sleep at night.
“I may be blind,” Amani says, “but I can tell when there’s light.I can feel the difference in me. I was frustrated in the old house,but I feel at ease here. I can feel the warmth. I feel the glow.”
What you can do
You can help families in Côte d’Ivoire improve their living conditions by taking one or more of the following actions:
Go to habitat.org/donate and designate your gift to Habitat Côte d´Ivoire.
Join one of the scheduled Global Village trips to Europe, Middle East and Africa or lead your own. For more information go to: habitat.org/gv
Establish a strong and rewarding tithe partnership to help build houses globally! Quote 862200, COTE d´IVOIRE on your checks sent to: Habitat for Humanity International, Attn: Affiliate Tithe, 121 Habitat St. Americus, GA 31709
To learn more about Habitat projects in Côte d´Ivoire, please contact us.
Habitat for Humanity Côte d´Ivoire
Fungai Mukorah, Program Development Manager
Habitat for Humanity Europe, Middle East and Africa
Main country facts: Gained independence in 1960
Population: 23.3 million
Urbanization: 54.2 percent live in cities
Life expectancy: 58.3 years
Unemployment rate: N/A
Population living below poverty line: 42 percent
Find more country facts on:
CIA The World Factbook – Cote d’Ivoire
When the program started: 1999
Families served: More than 1,800
Housing Solutions: New homes for vulnerable groups, Renovations and repairs, Water and sanitation, Care and Support services for OVC, Advocacy