- Capital: Yamoussoukro
- Date of independence: 1960
- Population: 23.1 million
- Urbanization: 49.7%
- Life expectancy: 58 years
- Unemployment rate: 6.9%
- Population living below poverty line: 46.3%
Find more country facts on: CIA The World Factbook – Cote d’Ivoire
- Date when Habitat started working in the country: 1999
- Individuals served in FY17: 74,185
- Volunteers hosted in FY17: 1,281
- Housing solutions: New homes, rehabs, incremental, repairs
Habitat for Humanity in Côte d’Ivoire
Established in 1999, Habitat for Humanity Côte d’Ivoire 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 between 400,000 and 600,000 units in 2016. Also, the annual deficit is estimated from 40,000 to 50,000 units per year. 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 poor conditions, 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.
Habitat’s contribution in Côte d’Ivoire
Habitat Côte d’Ivoire 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 two or three bedrooms and a hall. Smaller houses are currently planned, in order to reach families in the lowest income groups.
Housing Orphans in Protected Environments, or HOPE
This project has helped to protect the inheritance rights and has permitted to improve the living conditions of families through housing and related support services. Habitat Côte d’Ivoire together with its implementing partners have helped build housing and pit latrines; have done trainings on inheritance rights and will writing; and have promoted hygiene. Through this project, Habitat has changed 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. At the end of this project, more than 50,000 orphans and vulnerable children will have been served in care and support.
Decent housing for disabled and low-income families
This intervention includes the construction and rehabilitation of safe and healthy houses. In the target communities, the disabled 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. Most have leaking roofs and broken or cracked walls, which cannot keep out tropical downpours that recur during the rainy season. Often these houses collapse during a rainstorm, killing their occupants.
This project aims to develop financial skills of youths and women-headed households. The training will target families struggling to make ends meet and prepare them to manage their revenue and empower them to take care of their family. The training helps participants gain knowledge on market research, budgeting, savings and credit through a series of workshops. If necessary, local languages can be used. By this intervention, more than 20,000 persons have been trained and their capacities have been strengthened.
Water, sanitation and hygiene
This project will target rural communities and help promote hygiene and water points rehabilitation. Habitat 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. At this time, Habitat Côte d’Ivoire has helped more than 8,330 vulnerable families obtain clean drinking water.
Meet a Habitat family
N’Guessan lives in Troumambo, a small village located in the central region of Côte d’Ivoire. She is a housewife and mother of five children. The village has only one water point, installed 20 years ago. When the pump is broken, N’Guessan, like many families in the community, has to walk nearly two miles to get unsanitary water from the river Bandama. When the government installed the old pump, there was no water point committee set up. This situation meant that when the water pump broke, nobody knew how to repair it.
When Habitat started the rehabilitation of the broken water pump, N’Guessan said it was one of the most beautiful days in her life. She decided to be a member of the water pump committee. Her role is to ensure good hygiene practices and safety of the water pump. She is pleased to participate.
“With the water points rehabilitated, my children can go to school. The conditions of life of the population of Troumambo, mostly children have been improved”, she said.
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:
Donate: Go to habitat.org/donate and designate your gift to Habitat Côte d´Ivoire.
Volunteer: Join a local team to give back to your community. Contact us to learn more: email@example.com.
Tithe: All affiliate tithe gifts are sent internationally to serve families outside of the United States. To support the work of Habitat COTE d´IVOIRE, please send your tithe to: Habitat for Humanity International P.O. Box 6598 Americus, GA 31709-3498.
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
To learn more about volunteering opportunities in Côte d’Ivoire, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.