The thing we’ve been working on since the beginning of the Water Entrepeneur in 2014 has finally happened: we’ve passed the baton to the local Water Entrepeneurs. After 7,5 years we, as a projectteam, are letting go. It’s now up to the Water Entrepeneurs in Benin to keep the project going, independently.
In these past years we have both sown and harvested a lot. Sometimes through trial and error, but always with the aim of providing the poor population in Northern Benin with the most basic necessities of life; clean and safe drinking water. We learned a lot along the way and were able to further develop our Water Access Points (WAPs).
The living conditions of thousands of Benin people have been improved and we are very proud of that. Thanks to the presence of WAPs in the immediate vicinity of small communities, the collection of polluted river water from kilometers away is now a thing of the past. Children can go to school, the health of families has improved considerably and, to top things off, even the livestock is in better condition.
The project is also a stimulus for the micro-economy in this area. The Water Entrepreneurs have been trained well and are now able to manage the WAPs completely independently. They earn a good income from this. Our water taps are sustainable; all installed WAPs are well-maintained and functional. However, every success story also has a downside. Have we reached our target of 160 WAPs? No, unfortunately we did not succeed in this. But the 39 WAPs that are realised and operational are certainly a solid basis for further growth and 19 people have an income.
The Water Entrepreneurs are united in the L’Association Béninoise des Entrepreneurs en Eau et Assainissement, or ABEEA for short. The Eijkelkamp Foundation has supported the ABEEA in drawing up a medium-term strategy, of which the Business Case is an important part.
In addition to the Business Case, this document also encompasses the procedures to be followed for monitoring the water quality with associated interventions, the management of sales data and the cash flows between the stakeholders. It’s a strategy that should be the foundation for preserving, monitoring and further developing the results of the project. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) applies to the collaboration between the ABEEA and the Eijkelkamp Foundation since 1 January 2022, signed by both parties. The operational responsibilities have thus been transferred to the ABEEA. The Eijkelkamp Foundation will stay involved and remain available in an advisory role for the coming 2 years.
Many people made a large or small contribution to the project in recent years. THANKS SO MUCH! It would have been impossible to carry out the water project without your (financial) support.
We are convinced that the Water Entrepreneurs in Benin will continue the project in a good way and thus continue to help the local population with safe drinking water. We would like to wish them and you a bright future.