In February 2014, WaterLex launched a one-year project in Benin aiming to facilitate and promote the implementation of mechanisms of decentralised cooperation for water and sanitation among the country’s municipalities.
Based on the principle of international cooperation among local actors, such as municipalities, enterprises and NGOs, the practise of decentralised cooperation is experiencing a rapid evolution in the field of water and sanitation. This has resulted from the creation of the Global Water Solidarity platform, a UN Development Programme initiative that fosters technical exchanges and financial support among the international community of people and organisations involved in water and sanitation.
Funded by the city of Geneva, Switzerland, the WaterLex project is intended to support the authorities of the country in the design of a national strategy on decentralised cooperation, which will serve the interest of vulnerable and marginalised people with respect to the human right to water and sanitation.
In order to assess the situation in Benin at a local level, a field study was conducted from May to June 2014. WaterLex visited local authorities and key local actors of the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector in eight municipalities. Interviews were also conducted with representatives of communities facing great difficulties in their access to drinking water and sanitation, including discriminatory practices that impact their access to basic water and sanitation services.
On the basis of the study’s findings, WaterLex plans to produce a report together with its partners LARES, Lambassa ICA and the Beninese Chapter of the Global Water Partnership, which will be released in November, in conjuction with a national workshop to engage a dialogue on the strategy for decentralised cooperation, which builds upon the main conclusions of the report.
For more information:
WaterLex International Secretariat
Tel: +41 22 907 36 46
Email: info (at) waterlex.org
Photograph credits: © Pauline Roy 2014. More Benin project photos.